From the valley of on my own-ness…
A number of years ago after preaching a sermon where I gave my testimony of how I come to build a relationship with Jesus a close personal friend told me I was too honest. I understood he was trying to tell me the details of my faith journey were not that important. I agreed with him only to a certain extent while there may be some nitty-gritty intimate details we need to keep to ourselves there are times when we need to be honest and vulnerable enough to say, “Here is where I am at but it’s not where I will be.” One of my first experiences on my faith journey is in this life we cannot walk on the mountain of God forever; there are times we will find ourselves in the “valley of on my own-ness”.
This morning I found myself writing in my journal, “LORD, it seems as if I am wandering in the wilderness again not alone but on my own.” I had to stop for a minute and think about what that meant. “Does God really leave me to myself,” I asked myself. The answer of course is yes. If the answer were no then Jesus would never have told the parable of the shepherd searching for one lost sheep. I am writing this Glory Seed (as I do many of them) from “the valley of on my own-ness” I don’t want to be here and I wouldn’t if it weren’t for the Paul factor, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” (Romans 7:15, NLT) Paul was writing in reference to sin, there are times however when God allows us to wander off not only to show us how much we really need Him but also to boost and strengthen our trust in Him.
My morning walk in the valley of on my own-ness ended when I read, “Ah, no! our God has not left us at any time. We have had dark nights, but the star of love has shone forth amid the blackness; we have been in stern conflicts, but over our head He has held aloft the shield of our defense. We have gone through many trials, but never to our detriment, always to our advantage; and the conclusion from our past experience is, that He who has been with us in six troubles, will not forsake us in the seventh…” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Morning and Evening Devotionals for October 17th)
The sum of our life experiences can never be measured as distinct points on our timeline because God never stops leading/dragging us from one point to the next, then to the next, then to the next, until the time when our last point will become our First Point.
“May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us.”**
GRACE and PEACE,
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“Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.”
**Psalm 67:1, NLT