Mountain to valley

the-valley-of-the-shadow-of-death

The painting “The Valley of the Shadow of Death” by George Inness graphically depicts how overwhelming this valley appears to be.

We begin the day with a Quote of the Day for February 3, 2018 from the ministry of Shattered Men, where the author speaks of both mountain top experiences as well as those taking place in the valleys:

We often call those times when we feel great, “mountain top experiences.”  We love those times. Most of us never want to come down from the mountain.  We would stay up there forever if we could.  Well my friend, please realize it is the valleys we go through that make the mountain top so wonderful.  For if it were not for these valleys, we would not appreciate the mountain tops.   

In reflecting on the Quote of the Day, I recall lyrics to “We Shall Walk through the Valley in Peace,” a moving musical composition often sung as a hymn or spiritual inspired by a verse from the 23rd Psalm. I recall singing these lyrics as a member of the Junior Choir, back in the day.

We shall walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

For Jesus, himself, shall be our leader

We shall walk through the Valley in Peace

The lyrics also bring to mind another poem inspired, in part, by one the teachings from a series of messages on the gates mentioned in the Book of Nehemiah, specifically the “Valley Gate”

This Lonesome Valley

Jesus walked this lonesome valley.
He had to walk it by Himself;
O, nobody else could walk it for Him,
He had to walk it by Himself.

You have to walk this lonesome valley.
You have to walk it by yourself;
O, nobody else can walk it for you,
You have to walk it by yourself. 

Traditional hymn

 

Valley places are always places of testing. . .                                                              

It’s in the valley places that your character is tested.

Apostle Eric L. Warren

 

Though there is no place where God’s presence does not dwell,

There is this lonesome valley we all must cross alone.

The Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness,

And as a pilgrim, I too go through this barren land.

Propelled by goodness and mercy as my rearguards,

I am led by the hand of God into a wasteland,

Where I must stand on my own and confront my fears,

As I pass through the valley of the shadow of death,

The dark place where no companion can go with me.

Unsure of all that lies ahead, I hesitate,

But I must follow the Spirit’s call into the unknown:

The narrow way–to walk by faith and not by sight.

Though my path may be unclear, this I know for sure:

If God brought me to it, He will bring me through it.

We conclude with “Mountain to Valley,” from the musical group “House Fires,” assured that since Jesus Christ, our Lord, leads us from faith to faith, glory to glory, and victory to victory, we shall walk through every valley in peace:

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