Thursday, April 13, 2006

 

What is your valley...

I have heard it said that as a Christian, you are either going into a valley, in the middle of one, or coming out of a valley. While I don't know that every bit of the Christain life can be characterized by just those three, I do know that those valleys serve to make us more like Christ. What is your valley?

If I had written this post last week, I would have said my valley right now is the "Valley of Unemployment." Sounds really spiritual, huh? Not my unemployment, but that of my husband, Rob. You can skip on over to his blog to find out about that, if you like. But as I've had two or so weeks in this valley to ponder (okay, stew) about things, I believe the Spirit has revealed things about my own heart that ultimately result in conviction of sin. *Now I just want to clarify my position on conviction. I hear so many people say, "We shouldn't live in condemnation.." and to that I say a hearty "AMEN!!!" But I believe there is a distinct differentiation between conviction and condemnation. Condemnation brings with it a sense of despair and hopelessness that says, "I'll never change." But conviction carries with it a realization of sin and the power of the gospel to overcome that sin. Conviction ultimately brings hope! Hope in Christ who conquered death. If He could do that then certainly He can help me overcome my sin* (Stepping down off soapbox...)

What are the things hidden within the moist, deep, dark recesses of my heart? Oh, things like discontentment, failure to trust that God will provide, failure to look to my husband, the desire to nag my husband, worry, the desire to "help God out" in providing for us...the list, I'm sure, goes on. Wow! So many things tucked away in such a tiny space. But isn't that the kindness of God to have sent His Spirit to remind us of what we have learned and to convict us of sin?

So now that I recognize these things are there and confess them to God, my inclination is to behave as though, "Well, mark those off the list; mission accomplished God. Let's bring us out of this valley now, okay?" But that may not be God's plan for us. Perhaps there are still some trust issues; God alone knows those things. What if Rob is umemployed for a very long time? We certainly wouldn't be the only believers in this position.

So please pray for me. Pray that I would embrace this time as a time of learning and dependence upon the Lord. That I would seek after His kingdom and righteousness. He's already promised He would provide the other stuff! What is your valley?

Comments:
Dear Sherri,
Thanks for being so real in your comments! I've been in "the valley of unemployment" a couple of times and I'll be praying!
My valley could be labeled "the valley of being without a church" I keep wondering what God is trying to teach us through this! Ever since we became convinced that the gifts are for today (last summer) I've felt like we've been wandering in a desert looking for a church! We stop for a couple of months and then move on... It's been a heart-wrenching, confusing time for me. One thing I have learned/am learning is to put all my hope in God, yet again! That He is my source & my strength, I am convinced it is God's will for us to be planted in a local church, Ian I am just hanging onto Him while, feeling like an orphan, I believe and look forward in hope to when He will lead us to our spiritual home & family.
 
though it wasn't your main point, I appreciated your beautiful, concise description of conviction vs. condemnation. conviction brings HOPE--that IS good news! :)
 
Wow!!! Thank you for visiting my site, first off! My valley? Wanting man to approve me. Big time. NO....BIG TIME. All caps there!! And yeah....as a SAHM, I also go through everything you shared. Thanks for being "real" here in blogland. Lift HIGH the Name of Jesus!! Amen.
 
That's a really good clarification of condemnation versus conviction.
 
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