By: Chaunte McClure
Wouldn’t it be nice if all was always well in our lives? If every time someone asked you how you’re doing, the automatic response that you’re fine or doing well was absolutely true? Sorry, not on this side.
The reality is some days are good, some are bad and some are an absolute nightmare. I’m going to refer to those not-so-good days as valleys or valley experiences. While we won’t always have mountaintop experiences, there is joy in knowing that trouble won’t last forever. If you’re having a valley experience at this moment, perhaps that is not encouraging enough, because you’d rather God just pull you out of the valley right now. Matter of fact, you wish He had done it yesterday.
Can I be transparent with you? I am coming out the valley right now and I’ve shared those sentiments. There are three truths that have sustained me: growth happens in the valley, God is working it out for good, and I can’t let God down. The latter two are what I’ve held onto most.
Some of my best sermons and speeches have evolved from valley experiences. This is going to sound out of the ordinary, but the immature (or maybe, young) preacher in me at one time longed for another valley experience because of the impact those public addresses had on others, thanks to God’s divine power. (Insert face palm here.) Okay God, that’s enough. But seriously, growth happens in the valley and I obviously recognized that from previous experience. You should always come out stronger than you were before the valley and the experience should affirm who God is, because not only have you read about Him and believed His Word in faith, now you have experienced Him. Warning: He may have to remind you again.
It’s in those valley experiences when we learn more about ourselves, we’re drawn closer to God, we pray more, and we read the Word more. In the midst of me asking God, “Why me?” and telling him it’s not fair and how wrong it is of those who caused this to happen to me, I can’t help but believe that God is working things out for good and for His glory. He did it for Joseph. It’s a very familiar story but we sometimes overlook the application. Joseph’s brothers hated him and were jealous of him because they thought their father treated Joseph better than them. The brothers sold Joseph into slavery and he was eventually thrown into prison on false charges. In the midst of the brothers’ evil deed, God was at work making provision for the famine that was to come.
Your suffering has a divine purpose! That’s what gives me hope, but the challenging part is continuing to trust God while good comes out of the situation and fighting the urge for pay back. (Ladies, you know “they say” we can be vindictive.) God has His hands on me and He has His hands on you. Remember what Joseph said to His bothers in Genesis 50:20: “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” The situation you are going through can help save others, so go through it. You can’t let God down because divine purpose involves God, who is using you to reach others.