In all sincere honesty... I have been in an out of emotional valleys since February of this year. It's become a battle that I face daily. It stares me in the face when I wake up in the morning and like a grizzly bear it stands tall over me so that I retreat ... back to my pillow.
The Valley of the Shadow of death can be different for everyone and breaks us down in various ways, but a common factor is that the valleys of life do bring us down.
I am witnessing this as Jack is getting older and stronger...yet his level of self-control doesn't seem to be progressing as quickly as his testosterone levels.
I talk more about Jack on my blog, www.jacksdad.org, but Jack is 7 years old and has Down Syndrome. We are learning a new routine that he is phasing into that is requiring me to sit, snuggle, and relax with him for about 15 minutes before he goes off to school. This new routine makes me late for work, it puts me back into a tired mode before work, and it is honestly work to get him to calm his anxiety.
At this point in time...this is my valley.
However, in true God form... He brought a Bible verse to my mind. It is Psalm 23. I am sure you have heard it or memorized it.
What put me in my place, however, was not the valley, not the calm waters or green pastures or rest. The principle that God gently brought home to my fix-it brain was that God does not promise to get me out of the valley.
Now, before you think this is takes the situation from bad to hopeless, notice one more detail.
GOD IS IN THE VALLEY! I had never thought of this before...maybe I'm the only daft one in the blogosphere... but God put Himself in the depression-filled, helpless hole with us.
Why would He do that? Without getting into all the implicated Theology, but bottom line is that God puts Himself into our situations so that we will learn that all we need is God Himself.
God is the sustainer of our energy, attitudes and outlook. God actually reminds us (thanks to the Apostle Paul in the book of Acts) that God's grace is sufficient for us because His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Oh, dear friends and fellow parents... take a step back from the situation and see the God is there with us. We cannot change the disability, but God can change the perspective.
Dear God, Thank you for being loving enough to willingly join us in the valley of our lives. Help us today to see that You are with us and that we can rely on you. Amen.