I know, this may seem contradictory, right? But if we were never allowed to walk through valleys in this life, we would never need to call on God to deliver us. The valleys of life cause us to seek God in prayer, to rally the saints around us, and to wait for God to move. And he does. It just isn’t always on our timeline.
In the gospel of John, Jesus and his disciples encountered a blind man. The disciples immediately assumed the man’s affliction was the result of sin — either the blind man’s or his parents. They asked Jesus who sinned, but Jesus gave them a response they weren’t expecting.
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3)
If this man had been protected from blindness, Jesus wouldn’t have had the opportunity to heal him. And because of this healing, others were able to see his power at work and put their hope and trust in him.
Many times, we don’t see the ways our stories overlap into the lives of others. But our stories are never just about us. God wants to use our stories as a living testimony of his goodness and grace, and to use them to draw others into his presence. When we aren’t allowed to walk through some difficult seasons, his opportunities to do this become limited because we still live in a fallen world. Humanity isn’t perfect, and when they see perfection in our own lives, it can actually be a deterrent rather than something that draws them closer.
However, when they see followers of Christ walking through troubles just like they are, our stories become invitations. They might see our peace in the midst of chaos or the way God is carrying us through it, and want to know more. A unique opening for God’s love to reach someone is created because of something we wanted to skip over.
Are you walking through a dark valley right now, and wondering why God didn’t protect you from it? Or perhaps, like me, you’re watching a loved one walk through it, wishing they didn’t have to. It is human to ask questions and to experience moments of frustration. But don’t let the enemy keep you there. Allow your point of weakness to be a propellant toward the Lord’s strength. He is not finished with your story, and this season is not a result of his anger or negligence toward you.
He will use this chapter as a bridge into something greater, something you can’t quite see yet. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, and keep seeking his hand in the middle of your situation. One day you will look back and see evidence of his fingerprints all over it.
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