I believe that we walk through many valleys in life. Some are pleasantly trying, and some are terrifyingly dark and painful. Some are valleys of our own choosing; some, of our own making. Sometimes we follow the crowd into valleys, and some valleys we stumble into blindly. Sometimes, we travel alone. However we get there, our lives are marked by these trials – these valleys.
Ya know, there’s a funny thing about valleys. Valleys are not a place you go to, valleys are a place you go through. A valley is a tunnel with no roof. You enter at one end, travel all the way through and out the other side.
Scripture is clear that if you choose to do so, God will let you go through these trials alone (Luke 15; Romans 1). When we choose to do so, God gives us over to do whatever shameful things our hearts desire – He let’s us go. We will travel alone… alone and lonely. Facing whatever harm awaits, we will face it alone. Facing the evils which lurk in the shadows, we will face them alone. Having told God, “I don’t want You. I’ll do this by myself.” He will honor our choice and let us go… alone and lonely.
On the other hand, Scripture is equally clear that we can choose to walk with God, and we will never walk alone.
“Yes, even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not be afraid of anything, because You are with me. You have a walking stick with which to guide and one with which to help. These comfort me.” Psalm 23.4 (NLV)
We can reach up and take God’s hand, and walk with Him – side by side. He will guide us through the valley. He will guard us from the evil in the shadows and protect us from that which would harm us.
Make no mistake. You come to God on His terms, or you do not come to God. He does not negotiate. He does not make deals. He makes an offer. He offers a free gift, and He offers it, “as is”… take it or leave it.
And when, finally, you come to the final valley – that dark valley of the shadow of death – God will allow you to take Him by the hand. He will take you into that valley… all the way through… out the other side and on to home…
…and you will have nothing to fear, for He is with you.