Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.
Warning: Entering the Valley, God Ordained Deaths and Destruction ahead. Proceed please…
Ever feel like this?
What do you do, proceed? Would you be crazy to continue forward? The life we live spiritually is on a higher plane than that of our life in the physical realm.
Proceed… into blessings. For death to the ways of this world brings LIFE!
A question came up by a friend who is going through a great deal of trials similar in intensity as mine.
His question was…
“Why are all the horrible things happening when I’m being a doer and not a hearer only? Why are things going from bad to worse when He says ‘Ask and you will receive…’ and I ask, yet not only don’t receive but have things get worse?
This was my question and for years it went unanswered. I would seek Papa, scour the bible for answers and seek out leaders in the church for prayer and advice. Whether it was that I didn’t understand or that no answer came, I became bitter and angry. I felt abandoned, vulnerable and left open to attacks from others as I felt like I was drowning under each blow that hit our family. As my bitterness and anger seeped out, it affected my relationship with Papa and others. I was floundering and desperate for an answer. What I began to realize in hindsight was, all the scripture I read and the time I spent with Him didn’t come back void. When He answered me, it was like a puzzle, all the pieces fit together perfectly to form a complete picture that I understood.
The beginning of the answer began when the Holy Spirit whispered to us “I am going to change your circumstances”, but we needed to go through much more before our understanding began to grasp His ways and His thoughts.
We were returning home from a meeting with our realtor about purchasing some properties in Fresno and had stopped for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. We were talking about our future plans when Papa broke through our conversation and said to the both of us, “I am going to change your circumstances”. We sat stunned looking at each other, not really knowing what He meant; and stupid me, didn’t think to ask Him, instead I began to fantasize about all the wonderful things He could mean.
You can imagine the questioning wonder and confusion I would have when two weeks later it began with Eric’s first job loss. So I’m thinking, “ok… ok, this isn’t that bad. I can deal with this.” Wow, was I ever in for a surprise. It started and hasn’t stopped.
We were blindsided by the course of events that began to unfold and just didn’t realize the depth of stripping He was going to do. (Reference: This was about the time the Holy Spirit whispered “Job” to me, as mentioned in the previous article “The Potters House”).
Below I’ve posted a bird’s eye view of the major events for those who would like to know.
What we have been going through is painful and many times I cried myself to sleep wondering if I would ever smile again. When I lost hope under the duress of the trial, I wanted to ask Papa with slumped shoulders and through sheets of tears, “What have we done wrong? Are you angry with us?” but then I remember what He told us. “I am going to change your circumstances”.
So what are the reasons Papa leads us through a Job or Valley experience? The answer for each person is different, yet the similar.
Similar in that He wants to open our minds to His ways and His thoughts. Reveal to us those issues hidden in the deep recesses of our hearts and minds from our own awareness. We are like a diamond in its coal form that can’t shine without the pressures of those circumstances. It’s that pressure that made us cry out to Him with an open heart and a willing spirit to receive.
Some are being prepared for a special work; some are being prepared to be moved into a different direction; some are bringing shame to His name; some are being brought closer with a deeper understanding of Him. The reasons are endless and so I would suggest that you ask Him. Don’t worry if you don’t get an answer right away. He will answer in the perfect time. (Keep an open mind that things may not be prepared for your new direction or you may not be ready to receive the answer or understand it. It’s possible the person who needs to deliver it hasn’t ‘gotten’ it yet. It’s like looking at a BIGGER picture)
Do you remember in the Old Testament 1 Kings 19, when Elijah was worn out and frightened for his life? He crawled under a juniper tree, asked that he might die and then fell asleep? Then an angel touched him and said to him arise and eat, for He baked him bread – 2 times he did this – then said the journey is too great for you.
The bread the angel baked for Elijah is symbolic of God’s word. He speaks to us and encourages us through His word, so keep reading your bible even when you don’t feel like it. Papa reaches out to us when we hurt, for in His word He say’s,
“The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering”.
He knows we’re fragile and He cares about every aspect of our well being! He isn’t angry with me and not with you either.
He does care that we become complete in Him, that we don’t continue in ways and thoughts that are damaging, so the training continues…
We don’t struggle with anything different than those in the bible struggled with. We read in James “we also are men of like passions with you,”
So when it feels like nothing has gone right and I’m depressed and feel unworthy, I love verses like these in Luke and Lamentations, because it reassures me that I’m ok even when it doesn’t feel like I am.
When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon (Peter), Put out into the deep [water], and lower your nets for a haul. And Simon (Peter) answered, Master, we toiled all night [[a]exhaustingly] and caught nothing [in our nets]. But [b]on the ground of Your word, I will lower the nets [again].
(Don’t we feel like we do and do and see no results, but keep doing by faith because we believe Him?)
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
(If you are overwhelmed by a Valley Experience, our bird’s eye view is listed to encourage you. Papa is faithful, has never left you, nor ever will.)
Bird’s eye view of our 2009 Valley/Job Experience
• Refinanced house, falsified documents and Loan Company closed doors.
• Serious medical problems for me began
• A separation from an unhealthy relationship with family members.
• Eric has job loss.
• Economy took a dive, our 5 homes slipped into foreclosure.
• Marital Problems began escalating.
• Huge debt accumulated.
• November 2008 Eric has 2nd job loss, lasting 9 months and recently ended.
• January 13 2009 22 yr old son (lives with us) had disabling car accident, shattering both legs. 3 surgeries, (no insurance and ½ a million accumulated in medical bills) and a lot of titanium, he comes home to recover. Had to scoot on tummy for 4 months.
• January 14 2009 I was due to leave my marriage for a new life, Eric said he didn’t want me anymore. Our son’s accident changed all of that. This is an incredible story in itself.
• February 2009, 24 yr old daughter (lives with us) pregnant and sick.
• March 2009, started lawsuit to try and keep house.
• April 2009, husband gets sick, vomiting, passing out, coughing. Trips to ER.
• June, husband diagnosed with diabetes – Unresolved, being watched. Still coughing and vomiting.
• Life changing diet lasting a year or more for me due to the Yeast medical condition.
• July 2009 Bank illegally sold our loan to investment co. Lawsuit became risky. Accepted cash for keys. Had 1 week to move out, find another place to live while still unemployed. A miracle we found one! 5 of us, 3 cats and a baby soon due, moved from a 2000sq ft home to a 1000 sq ft home, in 3 days. Many attitude and living adjustments being made, by all of us.
• And then oct 27th Stephen had surgery to remove metal in his leg from the accident in January. Oct 28th Lauren went into emergency c-section. Beautiful baby boy – diagnosed with hole in heart. Nov 7-10 Eric admitted to hospital. Couldn’t normalize his blood/oxygen levels, even after treatments. Was very serious. And lastly… Eric found oil in the coolant of our diesel truck and we are checking to see how serious, cracked block, blown head gasket?