Christians are not always standing with lifted arms joyfully praising. Often we are on our knees petitioning. There are valleys. Beloved Husband and I are walking through one. Key word there = ‘through’, and we are not alone. Our Shepherd leads us through this valley, for it does contain the shadow of death.
Of course, simply being human is a terminal disease. We have but a couple of stories of people not experiencing the death passage. Why then do we not better prepare ourselves for its arrival?
As with most terminal illnesses, we humans have no ‘expiration’ or ‘best use by’ date stamped on us. Some receive warnings early enough to extend their time here, but some receive no notice at all.
That has been brought home to me with a bang recently as more than a couple of family members are living with the knowledge that their time here is shortened. For each, a medical diagnosis delivered the message that bodies are falling short of personal expectations.
Here in Texas we’ve been living with a similar diagnosis for our plants and trees as the drought, low humidity and high temperatures have taken their greenery and turned them into tinderboxes that light at the slightest provocation. That picture turns me to a verse:
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18 KJV)
In spite of all the valleys throughout our lives, we do find joy in our Lord, the God of our salvation. We are not alone in kneeling in petition, yet acknowledging His saving grace:
Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation. (Psalms 38:21-22 KJV)
David wasn’t the only one to speak of salvation. I love Isaiah’s verse, too, for it speaks of that living water:
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:2-3 KJV)
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14 KJV)
Did you ever notice the graphics for artesian wells? Take a look below – they are found in the valleys.