The valley.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” ~ Psalm 23:4 (KJV)



It seems like our biggest fears come true. You lose the job. The person you love doesn’t love you back. Mom dies. You are suddenly stricken with illness. The scholarship money doesn’t come through. Daddy runs off with his secretary. War breaks out. The house burns. The cancer is back. Stocks plummet. That nagging worry you push away before going to sleep at night suddenly becomes your reality instead of your nightmare, and you find yourself screaming to heaven and wondering where God is and why did this happen.

Well-meaning friends step up and offer what comfort they can, hoping you won’t ask them the one question they can’t answer: why?  And if you do, they will most likely give you some sort of explanation about how things just happen, this is a sinful world, etc. etc. etc.

But the “things just happen” excuse never really sits well with those who believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful God. It raises a disturbing question. If God is all-knowing, then He knew this would happen; and if He is all-powerful, then He could have stopped this from happening; so if He loves me, why didn’t He?

At the time, being sold into slavery by his own brothers was painful, but it was Joseph’s ticket to Egypt. Moses was exiled and worked for his father-in-law in the wilderness, but it was where he saw the burning bush. A carpenter’s fiancée turned up pregnant and he knew it was not his, but he raised the Messiah. David was hunted for years after being anointed, and nearly killed, but he became Israel’s king. Christ was flogged and executed, but He saved us all.

The problem is we sometimes don’t get to see the “but” during our lifetimes. All we see is darkness. We find excuses, blame those around us, and like His disciples ask Christ who sinned that such a thing should happen. In many cases, perhaps, He gives us the same answer He gave them,

“…but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” ~ John 9:3 (KJV)

~                    ~                    ~                    ~


Eden blogs over at Thorns and Myrtles, another one of my favorite reads. Her posts are always short, simple, and to the point, but they are loaded. I often tell her how much I love her writing style. She also started a blog titled Idylls for the King – a place where various bloggers can come together to share the poems, song lyrics, and short Christian fiction that they have written – Eden is featured there and so am I! Head over to both of her blogs and take a mental gander through the archives. I have no doubt that you will be helped and encouraged by what is published there.


About Eden

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16 (KJV)

Posted on March 18, 2011, in "Guest Post" March and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Good, Eden. And several parts are very pertinent to our family right now. My wife Yvonne had surgery two days ago for an apparent recurrence of her skin cancer (we’ll know for sure by the 30th, when she has her next appointment.) And finances? Never tighter. Our faith is definitely tested. Yet this time we think we do understand the reasons – or at least some of them. So we are trying to hold to that faith – and forge ahead with lots of prayer, fasting, praising – by faith.

    And in all this, I do remember the passage in one of Paul’s letters which says God allows us to go through such things so that we can encourage other people we meet who are fighting much the same battles.

  2. Eden, I don’t have an answer to the “why” questions of life’s tragedies, but like you I do know the One who has the answers and trust He knows what He’s doing. I love your Biblical examples of how bad things were used by God for good in the end. Peace, Linda

  3. Thank you Eden! I really loved this reminder (and I need reminders often) that what I see and am going through isn’t all there is happening. He’s here. He’s working. We’ll get to know more about it one day. Thank you sooooo much!
    I was working on a post about the 10 lepers today, that were healed. The thing that captured me was that Jesus told them to Go and show themselves to the priest. It was on their way there they were healed. I need to keep going on in Him, trusting that He is who He says He is and will do all He says He’ll do!
    Praying Heather is doing good too! 🙂

  4. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. […] And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. […] What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. — Roman 8:18; 28; 31-39 KJV

    I really enjoyed your post Eden. It’s a reminder that we’re all very much in need of—that even in our troubles we serve a God who is greater than our infirmities and suffering. One who is faithful and true, and in whom we can be certain that nothing happens against his will and that it all works out for our benefit in the end. That said, scripture doesn’t really provide us with an intellectual reason as to how to deal with suffering, rather it provides us with a person on whom we should lay all our burdens. I think that far too often we lose sight of the fact that God is in control and that to the Christian, suffering ought to draw us even closer to him and that he uses it to teach us some very potent lessons. In the words of Augustine:

    “day by day, hour by hour
    Pain drips upon the heart
    as, against our will, and even in our own despite
    comes wisdom from the awful grace of God.”

    Thanks for the post.

    • Thanks for the comment, I am glad you enjoyed the post. You are very right, it is great to know that whatever happens, God will turn it to good. And I thought this was great :

      “That said, scripture doesn’t really provide us with an intellectual reason as to how to deal with suffering, rather it provides us with a person on whom we should lay all our burdens.”


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