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Christian Life

God’s Promises in the Valley

Probably the most famous psalm in the world, Psalm 23 is six verses of peace and comfort to many in hard times.

 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

 

We read this and compare the “valley of the shadow of death” to just about anything that scares us or makes our lives uncomfortable. What happens to our comfort and faith when that valley suddenly becomes more literal? What promises has God given us for the valley?

On Thursday, July 24, my husband, Dave, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Just like that, we were standing at the entrance to the valley of the shadow of death. There had been times before when we thought God was taking us through this valley, but we realize now that those were only glimpses into the valley; God never made us actually walk through it before.

Girls, as I write this, we don’t yet know exactly what type of brain tumor Dave has—apparently there’s a variety of types. He has wonderful doctors and is receiving treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. All of our doctors have told us that the tumor doesn’t seem aggressive or malignant. They don’t seem to think it’s cancerous, but the neurosurgeon is doing a brain biopsy on August 7.

Neither Dave nor I feel that God is finished with Dave. We believe that God is going to fully heal him; however, the valley is still a scary place to walk through.

Here’s what God promises us when we walk through the valley.

  • God is with us. The Psalmist (most likely King David) says he fears no evil because the Lord is with him. Nothing is stronger than God, so what is there to fear if we know that God is walking through the valley with us?
  • God will direct us along His path. The rod and staff of a shepherd was used to keep wayward sheep on the safe path with the rest of the herd. As our shepherd, the Lord uses His rod and staff to redirect us when we start to veer off course.
  • God’s presence and direction will comfort us. God’s comfort doesn’t mean we won’t be afraid or that there won’t be some really hard days. It means the Lord will have compassion on us, console us during the hardest times and comfort us all along the way.

It’s comforting to surrender all to God and rest in His presence during the hardest times, and often that’s the only way to get through the hardest times. It’s also the only way to see our circumstances the way God would like us to see them.

As incredibly difficult as it is, Dave and I have agreed that no matter what God chooses to do in our situation, we want it all to be for His glory. And when we say “no matter what God chooses to do,” we mean it. We trust that this is part of God’s larger story, and whatever decisions He makes, we want this situation to be used for His glory.

One of our pastors told us something his friend always says, and I want you girls to hear and remember this always:

 

Everyone wants a miracle, but no one wants to be in a position to need one.

 

We’re grateful that God has sent us into the valley, in the position to need a miracle because it’s a privilege to be in such a position for the Lord to anything in our lives that will ultimately bring Him glory. We’re trusting and resting on God’s promises while we’re in the valley.

 

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure… But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. (Philippians 2:12-13; 17)

 

Girls, how willing are you to let God use your life for His glory? Do you trust His promises when you are in the valley?

 

More Stories Like This on Project Inspired:

What Does God Want from Me?
Maturing in Our Relationship with Christ
What Does the Bible Say About Love?

Image: Thinkstock.com

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14 Comments

  1. AllisonGrace

    Posted by AllisonGrace on October 6, 2014 at 07:02

    I’m so so so sorry to hear that Jenn 🙁 Your articles have provided so much encouragement in my life, and although I’ve never met you, you’ve blessed me in so many ways. I will be in prayer for your husband and your family. I pray you won’t be in “the valley” for much longer.

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by andriloveschrist on August 13, 2014 at 20:54

    Many times I doubted him, back when I want in a full on relationship with his glory, but I still had some sort of faith on him, now that I surrendered my life to him,I know that I cab trust him,I walked down that valley many times,& it worked for his good and glory, he protected me and my family and my friends, even in my personal life when I was committing many mistakes with guys he protected me, do my life us now surrendered to him &I trusty him with myself:) I’m sacrificed to his glory &I love & rejoice him:)!!! Alleluya

  3. Posted by JennArman on August 12, 2014 at 11:54

    Thank you girls for all of your prayers and sweet thoughts and responses! You’re awesome <3

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by andriloveschrist on August 13, 2014 at 21:09

      God has a plan for you and your husband, beyond your reach, but I know that Dave will be fine in the name is Jesus Christ, those demons will be repented. I pray for you both, but I feel that you both will be rejoicing his glory because God is good, and Dave will be healed.God bless you, you’re beautiful,and thank you for this beautiful article:)!

  4. tmgaouette

    Posted by tmgaouette on August 9, 2014 at 17:33

    Hey, Jenn! Stay strong, sweet girl. Sending love to you and your hubby, and prayers on your behalf. “Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10). TMG

    • Posted by JennArman on August 12, 2014 at 11:52

      Thanks T.M. We’ve been praying that verse and trusting it’s promises a lot 🙂

  5. BookWorm208

    Posted by BookWorm208 on August 9, 2014 at 16:52

    Praying for you Jenn!

  6. Posted by Nicole on August 9, 2014 at 16:33

    Jen I am praying for you both right now, that you have courage and just keep resting and trusting in God. He is with you every step of the way and he loves you both so, so much.

    • Posted by JennArman on August 12, 2014 at 11:53

      Thank you Nicole for both your prayers and your encouragement <3

  7. angelagrhodes

    Posted by angelagrhodes on August 9, 2014 at 15:45

    My friends and I are praying that He will heal in the name of Jesus, and that He will comfort you and your family in this time. Stay strong Jen!! We love you!

  8. Godismytruelovexx

    Posted by Godismytruelovexx on August 9, 2014 at 14:46

    Very encouraging post! I’ve been going through a small valley myself, and I’ve realized how important it is to actually trust God when a situation is actually happening. I’ll be praying for you and your husband!

  9. sunbluie

    Posted by sunbluie on August 8, 2014 at 10:55

    thx

  10. Project Inspired

    Posted by lovebird58 on August 5, 2014 at 11:05

    <3

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by cinnamon_stick on August 3, 2014 at 18:28

    Stay strong and keep your faith in God, I’ll be praying for you’s. God Bless!