A few years ago I was blessed with spending a great deal of time with a friend who was losing her husband to an illness that he had battled for a number of years. Through out our time together I had thought that I was being used to help her get through her difficult time, however, over the years I have realized that I was the one that was blessed and she unknowingly helped prepare me for my own future heartache. Through those lengthy talks, prayers, and cherished moments together I learned and am able to use today the wisdom of waiting on the Lord and how to live with loss.
I thought I knew what it meant to wait upon the Lord, however, nothing in my past has prepared me for what our family has been dealing with more recently. In the last several years I have had to accept loss of family, loss of friends, loss of health and currently loss that comes with economic changes. Loss comes in all shapes and sizes and in all sorts of ways. Some are permanent and some are temporary. Looking through the loss and looking for the clearing on the other side of the fog can be difficult if you are not given the eyes to see it through. Waiting upon the Lord gives clarity.
I have found that staying in prayer and surrounding myself with others of like mindedness in faith always carry me through. The Lord continues to peel back the layers of scales that grow upon my eyes. Each layer giving me new perspective and helping me to grow closer to Him.
My friend, during our time together, introduced me to a wonderful book that I quite often find solace in. As my morning in worship came to a close, I learned of a situation which I have no control over and I felt lost. I so wanted to be “in the know” and a part of a solution for a loved one that I lost sight of my own boundaries. Caring with only your heart and not your head will stretch any boundary and although some of us have hearts full of love for others, it’s the head that needs to remind self of the purpose. If I was wanted, I would have been “in the know”, if I was needed then I would have been called. Everyone makes decisions that are best for them and I need to respect that. My heart may be breaking and my mind may feel the sorrow, however this was one more example of how the valley is what feeds the soul, not the mountain. I’ve said it for years in numerous bible studies that as children of a Holy God, we are not fed at the top of the mountain, (where we typically seek to find Him) we are fed in the valley’s (where we always hear Him). So, in this little book sweetly and ironically called The Valley of Vision I once again find clarity in my valley and once again I thank my friend for the blessing of a little book of wisdom.
The Valley of Vision
LORD, HIGH AND HOLY, MEEK AND LOWLY, Thou has brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness, thy life in my death, thy joy in my sorrow, thy grace in my sin, thy riches in my poverty thy glory in my valley.
Friends, in your valley, I pray that you not just seek but that you hear the Word of God that feeds your soul. That you find solace in your times of sorrow and strength in times of weakness. On this Sunday, I pray for continued wisdom and for accountability when it comes to my own sinfulness.