Walking Through the Valleys

August 15, 2018

 

The Lord said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 

– 2 Corinthians 12:9 

 

As a Bible Study teacher of women, ranging from 22 to 85 years old, it is both a blessing and a hardship to witness their lives change, often unexpectedly overnight. I’ve had the privilege and experienced the pain of sitting with a young mother as she grasps the knowledge that her unborn child has a life threatening brain dysfunction. I’ve visited women in the hospital with heart trouble and others who are fighting for their lives against an invading cancer that chemo no longer kills. 

 

Every time I leave the hospital or the home of a hurting woman, I tell God I didn’t sign up for this part of the ministry. I signed up for what I love to do, teaching and spurring women on to grow in their faith. All my energy is zapped when God calls me to walk with them through dark valleys or to Heaven’s door. I’ve told Him many times that being a chaplain or a hospice nurse is not in my wheelhouse. I don’t think He’s listening.

 

Last week, I visited the memorial sight of my dear friend and mentor Alice. It’s been three years now since she gave me my last writing assignment and soared to heaven. I imagine her there writing psalms with David or encouraging God’s choirs to sing Bethel Church worship music. 

 

I sure hope we get to continue our passions in heaven. I won’t know until I’m there, but one thing I know for sure, is that I keep Alice’s passions alive on earth by putting what she taught me into practice and by worshipping God every day of my life, just as she did for 57 years. 

 

I am forever thankful God gave me Alice for a season of my life. Her encouraging words often ring in my ears. I’ll never forget the day when she said, “Laura, God has given you a gift. You need to share The 3 O’Clock Wake Up Call far beyond our church. You need to share it with the whole world.” I hope I am making her proud. 

 

While listening to one of Alice’s favorite Bethel songs, It Is Well With My Soul, God reminded me that His strength is all I need to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Why? Because His strength is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). He gets all the credit and honor when I finally get through the valley because, in my own strength, I couldn’t take another step or endure another visit without His power at work in me. 

 

What has entered your life that you would never have signed up for? A challenging marriage? A wayward teenager? A sick and elderly parent? A crabby co-worker who tries to tear you down every day? Whatever or whoever is causing you to walk through a valley, remember you are not alone. Jesus is your faithful friend who walks with you. His strength is limitless and His power is made perfect in your weakness. 

 

Imagine as you walk through today’s valley, Jesus is right there with you saying “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid (terrified); do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) As we acknowledge we couldn’t make it through without Him, He gets all the glory and we get a story we can share with others.

 

Do that this week! Share with a friend or family member a time when you know you couldn’t have made it through a dark valley without God’s presence or power. Your story could be just what they need to hear.

 

 

The Power of Giving God Thanks Will Ignite Your Faith and Change Your World!

 

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