Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus I Come"1 (Lyrics)
Ecclesiastes 12:1 – Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, "I have no pleasure in them." (NKJV)
Well, isn't that verse the truth! During the last eighteen months, I have been through a series of five medical procedures and one operation, and as I write this, I am facing some more tests and a major operation. The difficult days have surely come for me. My old age has certainly brought a number of medical challenges, and it is very difficult to have pleasure in them.
There were times when we coped well, and other times when we did not — times when the worries which faced us kept us awake at night. There were times when I pondered God's will in all this, many times when I prayed for guidance and asked that His healing touch would be upon me.
There were times when I walked in a deep valley, a physical, mental, and — dare I say it — a spiritual valley as well. Early on the morning of November 25th, my wife and I were both in tears. It was a really bad day. We were at our wits' end as to what to do, and we discussed our situation and the possible outcome of things. We prayed for spiritual guidance.
Later in the morning, I turned on the computer and saw that there was an email from our editor, Rev. Robin Ross. We had not been in touch for quite some time, and because I didn't respond, later in the day, he called us by telephone. I explained why I had not written lately. I told him about the situation that we found ourselves in and that I was at times walking in a deep spiritual valley. He referred me to a Bible passage:
1 Kings 20:27b-28 – Now the children of Israel encamped before them like two little flocks of goats, while the Syrians filled the countryside. Then a man of God came and spoke to the king of Israel, and said, "Thus says the Lord: 'Because the Syrians have said, "The Lord is God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys," therefore I will deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.'" (NKJV)
The story goes on to tell us that the Israelites inflicted a hundred thousand casualties on the mighty Syrian army.
There were many times when I had wished and prayed that I could get out of this spiritual valley, and then, this passage told me that God is a God of the valleys, too. As we walk forward into a new year, let us keep in mind that even during times of deep despair, God is there with us, and He will comfort us and give us peace in our hearts.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You that even when we walk in deep valleys of despair, we are assured that You, Lord, are with us, and that You have everything under control. We thank You in Jesus' name. Amen.