I am so thankful for this blog. I’m so thankful for those of you who have chosen to do this journey with me. When I first started writing here, I thought that all the time and effort would be justified if only one person was impacted – even just once. I still pray and hope that this has been the case.
However, when I began posting, I did not anticipate the personal benefit that it would bring. I had no idea how well I process things by writing them down. Every article I have written – especially under the “my hope” tag – has simply been me preachin’ to myself as the Lord has used the writing process to help me to digest and internalize the very truths that I was explaining.
So here I am again… with a heart of tangled emotions, trying to sort and shift through them. Can you relate? Sometimes life appears to be going so smoothly for the person on the other side of the screen. But we all face tough times. The bitter and the sweet coexist in this world. Recently, I have had a really wonderful season with few disillusionments, but now, I find myself with doubt, with dwindling faith, and with a heavy heart. Yet, I must remember that the good and the bad are seasons. No season is guaranteed for the entire duration of this life.
I am forced to acknowledge that I have no power or control over the changing seasons of life just as a river cannot choose to stay on the mountain top forever. Eventually, it will tumble and roar into the valley below. Yet, who knows what that process could produce? The growth that it could bring? Without the river’s journey to the valley places, so much life would cease to exist for a lack of lifegiving water. We too are like that river. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the Bible says that Living Water flows out of us.
… “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive… (John 7:37b-39a)
He allows us to have these highs and lows in our lives. They grow us and mold us to become more like Christ. But perhaps these downward journeys also allows us to water and make fertile the desert places in others even as we feel we are tumbling from a mountain high into a valley low? What if this Living Water in us could provide life to other people who are also in the valley? Can I lift my eyes from my own hurt and brokenness to see the other wounded and broken that surround me in the valley? Can I offer them even a cup of this Living Water that I have within me?
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward. (Matthew 10: 42, NIV)
Even in the valley of the shadow of death, the Good Shepherd still waters and feeds His sheep. We are cared for and watched over and provided for even in the darkest and most challenging seasons. He gives us enough grace for every moment – and even an abundance of grace that allows the Living Water to truly pour out of us. In these hardships, I want to be running to my Shepherd and not from Him. I want to curl up as a scared and uncertain lamb in His embrace. I want to wholeheartedly cast my cares upon Him and trust Him. And all the while, I also want to be that source of Living Water to those who have none in the valley.
Constantly throughout the Bible, the Lord allowed His people to walk through confusing and difficult circumstances because He wanted them to return to Him. May returning be the response of my heart and yours when we hit the bottom of life’s pits and all we see is darkness. When we choose to return and allow Him to take control, we can truly rest and be refreshed, even in the uncertainty and confusion and hurt.
To your dear heart and mine, He will not take pleasure in our hurt. But like a good Father, He knows what is best for each of us and sometimes it takes hard times to produce good things. Yet in the turmoil and difficulty, our souls can find rest in our Good Shepherd. We can find peace in the valley. We can run to our Father in our times of need.
…a broken and a contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise. (Psalm 51:17b)
He is the great Healer – of both body, soul, mind, and spirit. In this season of heaviness, I am choosing to sit at His feet, learn from Him, receive Him, be molded by Him, and trust Him. Yes, it may be a harder season, but I want to draw into the embrace of my heavenly Father and go further and deeper with Him. He is my strength, my source, my sustainance… Jesus is good. And He is enough. Always.
Grace and peace to every one of you!
– Alex ✌️
PS – Feel free to comment below or send me a message with any specific prayer requests. I am so happy to be able to pray for you. Be blessed!
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