Monday, June 11, 2012

The Value in Valley Darkness

There is a timeless truth that the hardest of walks can end up as the most transformative:
“Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.”
~Billy Graham
We hate growing because it involves growing pains; certain humiliations and depths of suffering where God gets through to us in the magnanimity of holy truth.
For a time we kick against the pricks in our pride. We cannot digest the noxious flavours of an era now supposedly bygone; we thought we were past this; we thought we had dealt with all of this, perhaps. Or, maybe, there is a reticence due to the amount of pain involved. Grief takes us by storm. It allows only numbness with sprinklings for anger, denial, bargaining. It can be so disabling.
But going against the grain of the incoming themes of life only takes us so far, and in the fatiguing frustration we stop resisting. Then we start learning: God may have a purpose in this, after all.
When The Openness Of Perspective Comes
Caught in this place, always beyond our will—yet, so often as we see later, it was God’s will that good was made of this evil—we begin to journey with it. The valley becomes of value.
The darkest of valleys can be negotiated only through the light of God. We learn this early on. And this is of encouragement to us. When the openness of perspective comes in the darkest of places, we understand our invincibility with God.
Suddenly it comes to our attention that life with God is unbeatable. Any challenge could come and our strength is drawn more and more so in weakness.
But it took openness to get us here. We had to get past our pride, past thought for injustice, and past feelings for our own pathetic weakness. At last we understand that weakness is the key.
Weakness opens the door to the openness of perspective; the door to the value of the valley is unlocked. And inside that valley awaits a new, more mature version of us; one that appreciates life a whole lot more.
The Divinity Of Learning
The greatest thing we ever learn in the valley of despair—that dark place where we find out what we are without God—is learning is the solution to life. With the mind opened, and a heart prepared for reception, God communicates.
God communicates through prayer in an unspoken language. What he speaks is enshrined in the product of goodness by the determinant of grace.
The darkest valleys have the lushest flora for spiritual nourishment and the juiciest streams for spiritual lubrication. At these places we are found open, and God communicates to a receptive vessel, transforming them.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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