Valleys: Bad ... Or Good?

I wrote this last year; I had just gotten back from Rome, the last stop on my 21st birthday Italian adventure. My flight back was over the majestic Alps. These were my thoughts. I was looking through some old things I had written and writing some new when I found this tonight. I didn't share it then, but tonight I will. Because it reminded me that, when it is all said and done, Jesus is in control even when we don't always see it. 

Valleys. I think when we hear that word we tend to associated it with bad things. We think valleys equal despair and darkness and sorrow.
And I think part of that is right. After all David wrote in Psalm 23 about "the valley of the shadow of death."
It doesn't get much tougher than that.
But I've been thinking about valleys lately. As you may know, I have this love affair with the mountains. Mountains of all shapes, sizes, and locations. My favorite mountains are the Blue Ridge of the Appalachians. However, I've recently had the chance to visit and fly over the Alps. I also saw some of Italy's mountains. Both ranges were beautiful. I think flying over the Alps was the best part. I digress. As I was viewing these mountains, I was thinking about the valleys
Today, it struck me that that maybe valleys aren't all bad. This year has had a lot of mountain top peaks for me, but it has also had a few valleys. And I'm not particularly a fan of valleys. Who is?
See we tend to associated valleys with storms. Thing is, storms come regardless of location. Have you ever been on the top of a mountain when a storm comes through? It is an awesome sight. But it can be terrifying.
No doubt about it when the storm comes I'd rather be in the valley. The valley offers shelter and protection. It allows the mountain to take the brunt of the storm. Sure there can be flash floods, downed trees, and strong winds, but there is protection. Up on the mountain, it's you and the storm.
This was the thought that stole my breath away: maybe being in the valley is simply God's way of protecting us from the brunt of the storm. Maybe, our loving Father knows that it would be worse up there, even though we can't see that, so He brings us down into to the valley to protect us. Maybe what we see as bad, God sees as good.
Today I remind myself of this. Maybe the valleys are good. They teach us to enjoy the mountain tops, they make us grow, and they offer us protection.
My prayer tonight is that I trust God to know when to bring me into the valley - even if I don't want to be there - because He knows what is truly good.


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