Life is a series of peaks and valleys. At any given time, you are either on the way up or on the way down. I’m finding that the higher the mountaintops, the deeper the valleys. In the mountaintop experiences, I’m close to God and everything is right in my world. No problem seems insurmountable. With God, all things are possible. I am more than a conqueror.
When I start the descent into the valley, the feelings of loneliness and desolation began to come on me with greater and greater intensity. Having surrendered all my props, the things of the world that used to fill me, I can find no comfort. I know I should run to the Comforter, but I am too paralyzed to move. I am in a trap of the enemy’s making, but I have walked into it willingly. His lies pound me, stealing all peace, all hope. There is a haze over my eyes that makes it hard to see truth, yet I know the truth is still there.
In only two weeks’ time, it felt like my relationship with God was gone. I knew that wasn’t true, but I had no desire to go to my secret place to find Him. I had trouble remembering what it felt like to be in His arms. I had had a stomach bug that lasted a week, leaving me feeling weak and vulnerable. Following this our dog Chelsea was lost, and Mark had hip surgery. Time was frozen as everything normal in our lives stopped. Family and friends rallied to find Chelsea, but to no avail. Watching Mark diligently searching, even though on crutches, and seeing his grief, I sank deeper and deeper into a pit, not able to get out. At these times nothing makes sense in my world.
Finally on Sunday morning, I took a faltering step toward Him, uttered a very simple prayer, and opened my favorite devotional, just to read a few words, climbing slowly on my knees to get back up. Then as the worship began in the Sunday morning church service, there was an explosion in my spirit-He is there! He have always been there. I am the one that moved away. I am coming back. I hear Him say in my spirit, “It’s okay, child. You can’t lose our relationship. I’m only as far away as your weakest cry for help. Be still now. Be at rest. There is only grace.” Restored! Not because of anything I’ve done, but because of who He is.
Lord, thank you for the pain in the depth of the valley, for not letting me escape into the world and its comforts, for making me face myself. Thank you for allowing me to live in the black-and-white zone. There is no neutral. Jesus, I would rather dwell in the deepest pit and feel the pain of not being in your presence than to be satisfied in this world without you.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10