Making the Most of the Valley

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend.  This weekend, B and I spent a majority of time in a labor and delivery class to prepare for the arrival of baby Williams.  And after hearing in-depth all of the steps and ways of labor, I have concluded that there’s not really an “ideal” way to give birth.  No matter what, it’s going to be tough, but the one thing they hammered into our heads is that the end result will be worth it–I just can’t wait!

During the class, our teacher was talking to us about contractions and how they resemble peaks and valleys.  At their peak, they’re intense and painful, but then the valley comes giving you some rest and reprieve.  As she walked us through techniques and coping mechanisms she said, “It’s important to remember as you go through this wave of peaks and valleys to be sure you’re making the most of your valley.”  

Spiritually, as Christians, we often talk about mountains and valleys in our lives and our faith–though in this instance, rather than the height of a contraction, the mountaintop experience is a joyous high–where you feel energized, blessed, joyful, and fully aware of God’s goodness.  The valley, on the other hand, or what I refer to as “the pit,” you feel stuck, discouraged, hopeless, and dry.

When the instructor continued to reiterate the need to “make the most of the valley,” I couldn’t help but spiritualize it.  As Christians, it’s easy to give thanks for our mountaintops and peaks, but we need to remember to make the most of the valley, too.

It’s here where we can commune with God in a deep, intimate, and desperate way.

Here, we can pour our hearts out to God and know that though we may feel alone and abandoned everywhere else, our God has not and will not leave us.

Here, God can whisper secret promises and truths to our hearts that are just for us.

Yes, the valley is hard, and probably not something we would choose to walk through, but when you fall off the mountain and find yourself back in the valley, take advantage of it.  In my experience, it’s in the valley, where you can encounter God in deep, powerful, and tender ways.  Make the most of it.

Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:8 

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Psalm 27:13-14
My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.
Exodus 33:14