Encouragement/Devotional, Faith, Growth, Lifestyle, Purpose

In The Valley

Can I tell you all a secret?

I wish the Lord had blessed me with a singing talent.

Like, I mean a real talent to sing, where I wouldn’t look crazy entering into a singing contest for The Voice, American Idol or Sunday’s Best.

Now, don’t get me wrong, your girl can hold a note and sing in harmony if need be.

It just isn’t my best gift…

He knew what He was doing when He was distributing various talents.

I may have would definitely have developed a big head.

Anywho, a girl can dream, right?

The Lord says make a joyful noise unto Him…

And I do…many days because I love to sing.

And I love music, especially worship music.

Back in the day, when I used to listen to any and every kind of music, I didn’t really pay attention to the words.

It was usually the beat that first caught my attention and had me bobbing my head.

As I got older, I got a little more hip and started really paying more attention to the words and what I was singing.

(I won’t even tell you some of my favorite songs as a 4th and 5th grader…lyrics I used to sing at the top of my lungs, but really knew nothing about, lol.)

I eventually mastered the art of learning a song after only hearing it only 1-2 times in college, while a part of the Gospel choir on campus.

Our choir director became fed up with us one Friday evening during practice. We still didn’t know the words to a song that we had been practicing for several weeks…even with the words on the screen each time.

He decided, in that moment, that for all new songs we learned, he would put the words on the screen for a little while, long enough for us to write them down.

Then he would remove it, never to be seen again, thus forcing us to have to really learn the words and be more aware of what we were singing.

This new technique allowed me the opportunity to really process what I was saying out loud…and decide whether or not I wanted to sing some of the words to some songs.

Such was the case a few weeks ago while in worship at church.

The choir sang a very popular song by Charles Jenkins. I sang along with them as I meditated on what the words meant to me.

If you have been reading this blog for the last few weeks, you discovered that we started an online Bible study called Sitting At His Feet a few weeks ago. (If you missed it, be sure to join us next week, April 19, 2018 at 8pm CST [6pm PST/9pm EST] for week 3. Click image below and catch up on ones you may have missed.)

Our current series, Growing In Uncomfortable Places, has somehow been a theme in my life and subsequently, recent blog posts, as I have been talking about comfort, suffering, discomfort, etc.

As I sang this particular song in church that morning, this one verse below grabbed my attention and caused me to pause, and then open my eyes. (Yes, I am the one who sings with her eyes closed most of the time!)

Keep me in the valley, hide me from the rain.

The song says God is awesome because He is able to keep me in the valley.

Wait what?

Wouldn’t many of us agree that we don’t necessarily want to stay in the valley for long, let alone go there?

I know I don’t.

We consider God to be awesome for so many different things–new furniture, unexpected favor, a job promotion, a huge opportunity, a financial blessing, healing in a relationship, etc.

And while all of these things are truly great things that God is awesome for doing, what about those less than desirable, dare I say, uncomfortable and painful things that He allows in our lives as well?

Is He still awesome then?

David put it this way:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me ~Psalm 23: 3, KJV (emphasis mine)

The NLT coins the term this way:

through the darkest valley (emphasis mine)

Neither of those circumstances sound good to me.

Why would I want God to keep me in these places?

How can He still be awesome for keeping me here?

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Sis, perhaps you may feel like you are currently in a valley situation in your season of waiting.

May I encourage you here with a few things I have gathered about an incredibly awesome God who is capable of keeping me (and you) in the valley.

  1. It is clear that we are going to have to go through several valley experiences in our lives.  The beautiful truth is that we don’t have to go through alone. God is with us. The NLT says, “You are close beside me.” Close your eyes right now. Say that out loud. Cling to this truth Sis.
  2. Since He is with us, we don’t have to be afraid. He tells us He hasn’t given us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). You have direct access to the God who knows everything, sees everything and owns everything. Hallelujah!
  3. Consider the defintion of the word keep, not from the view of a Father who is mean and trying to withhold something from you, but rather from this place that Merriam dictionary describes it: to preserve, maintain, support and tend. Our God is awesome because He desires to preserve you, support you and care for you, even in the midst of the valley!
Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)
Photo credit: @drnes (Unsplash),,,
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