Trusting God Through the Hills and Valleys

[Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God]

This Season has been interesting, to say the least. I’ve been up and down more times than I care to count or admit. Metaphorically speaking, I’m running the race, but I’m tripping over myself.  I’m back up and limping, only to feel lost.  That’s faith. We walk by faith not by sight.  This requires a great deal of trust.

Sometimes I’m surprised by what’s happening, but I’m reminded that God is faithful. He keeps His promises. (1 Corinthians 1:9) I’m encouraged to continue pressing on.

“We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up.”  — 2 Corinthians 4:8 (CEV)

As I wake feeling beat, I remember that I’m receiving what I asked for: a stronger faith and deeper understanding. We ask for a lot—not only for our own journey, but also for others, and those prayers aren’t always answered overnight. This makes it so easy to lose track of all that we’ve asked for.  Of course we can’t anticipate in what manner our prayers will be answered either, and often it’s not how we’d prefer.

Nevertheless, God answers, so I’m learning first hand what those who’ve gone before me have experienced: struggle, persevering under trial, and that things can take some time. (A long time even.)

So we ask the Lord to increase our faith.  This means that our faith will be tested, and as they say, the struggle is real.  It’s much more challenging and sometimes painful when you’ve been drawn into deeper waters.  If this isn’t enough, the devil works overtime to discourage and confuse you.  

I’ll admit, there are days when I’m feeling worn and weary of the trials and testing.  These hills and valleys start to look as if they go on for miles and miles, and some days I’m not feeling so patient. However, this is how we recognize how truly weak we are and that it’s His strength, not our own, that will carry us.

When I feel worn or depressed (emotions that I don’t particularly enjoy and I don’t feel showcase the real me) I tend to turn it back on myself.  I refuse to turn on God.  (I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me, though sometimes I fear that I will.) So I’m tough on myself.  I have yet to figure out how to handle this in a better way. 

When I feel as if I’ve hit my limit, that’s when the tears can start to flow.  I know that I can’t give up.  I know that I won’t give up.  Either I’m very stubborn, God’s Spirit in me won’t give up, or it’s a combination of both.

On my worst days the giants look enormous, but I’m told that they can be defeated.  It just takes a little faith (and those steps of obedience in the right direction.)  I remember the words of “Mercy Me’s” Even If: Well good thing–a little faith is all I have right now.

I’m encouraged to know that giants serve a purpose: God wants to be known and honored for who He is. Giants are the primary opportunity to make His power and goodness known to a doubting world. And when He chooses to defeat a giant with a miracle—that is, an event that cannot be explained in any other way other than “God did that” He receives all the glory. (The Dream Giver/Bruce Wilkinson)

When God acts on our behalf our confidence in Him is also strengthened, reenforcing that trust.  Whether we receive that miracle or not, He does act. He acts every time we receive a word from Him; when we are comforted in our grief; when we gain some new/deeper understanding, and when we are drawn closer to Him.  These are all things that I’ve asked Him for in prayer, though sometimes I fail to recognize it right away.

Thirteen years ago I asked to have a closer walk with Him.  I was inspired by someone else’s walk with Jesus.  I wanted that too!  There may be giants in them thar hills, but they’re not bigger than my God!

These hills and valleys aren’t easy, but we were never promised easy, just that God would be with us.  Sometimes He takes us out from under our burdens, and sometimes He says, Let patience finish it’s work. (James 1:4)

This doesn’t mean that we won’t receive those other things that we want.  It just means that some things must come first, but even if we don’t receive those miracles, let us remember what matters the most, what He’s already given us, and let us keep singing His praises.  

I  will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” –Exodus 6:7(NKJV)

If you’re interested in following this series, all posts can be found here:

https://godskidspeaks.com/category/faith-mapped/

And the first post in this series can be found right here:

Faith Mapped

 

 

8 Thoughts

  1. Great encouragement!! One of my favorite verses is about having faith the size of a mustard…even that tiny amount is enough for God to do huge things with and grow something amazing!! I hope you’re feeling well😉

    1. Thanks Alicia! ❤ I'm so glad that it doesn't take a mountain of faith to move a mountain, just enough trust in God. Thankfully He also helps us to trust Him!

  2. Shaking the fist may not be the best of phrases, but one I’ve seen used repeatedly…so I use it. But the idea is it’s okay to be frustrated, upset, or mad…those are emotional responses. In your hurt…which shows more faith? To stuff it inside and let it fester, working it out on your own, or just getting honest with God, who knows what you’re felling already anyway.

    Psalm 22 is one of the more famous laments… it starts…”My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.”

    That’s an honest prayer for someone hurting. The following verses (3-5) show the pattern or our lamenting…they bring us back to an understanding of who He is. “Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel…”

    When we’re in pain, beaten (emotionally or physically)…groaning our lack of understanding in prayer to Him allows for His healing touch. As we honestly grapple with what we don’t understand…He will remind us of His love. When we hurt, our turning to Him during our hurt…helps us to remember the wounds Jesus took for us. We have someone who does understand pain and suffering. Those wounds allowed for our healing.

    Henri Nouwen said something along the lines of…when I need a doctor, I don’t hide my wounds from him and only show him what is healthy. He was talking about honest lamenting.

    There is a difference between lamenting and just being angry. Just being angry is turning your back, closing up, “walking away”, not processing….and the list goes on. That response leads to willful disobedience (speaking from experience). Lamenting is processing your anger at the foot of the throne…offering up your suffering and pain to the Creator. Just like Job when he lamented, you may not get the explanation, you may never know the why…but you do get a response. You may try to wallow in self-pity, but as you’re processing it through with God you will recall the scourging, the nails, the cross, the pain that He went through so you could lament at the foot of the throne. You will come to the point where you can say… “Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel…”

    1. Thanks so much Kenn. I appreciate the explanation, and that you took the time to write all of that! The funny thing is that I kind of thought it showed more faith to wrestle with myself and let God be God. I guess there are a lot of things that I don’t understand! This is probably why I’ve been lead to pray Proverbs 3:5-8. It’s that “lean not on your own understanding” that I really need to embrace. I don’t know what I’m doing…I know that much. I’m trying to follow His lead. Thanks again. I REALLY appreciate it.

  3. Great post.
    I too struggle with turning “in on myself”…I’ve learned though that giving it back to Him is expected. The Psalms are full of laments where David, Asaph, or someone else “gave it back”. Crying out in pain, sometimes “shaking their fist at God”…and the pattern of the laments is after laying it all out, they come back to trusting Him. I’ve found that works wonders for me. Keeps me out of the self-pity, self-flagellating mindset.

    1. Thanks Kenn. I guess you could say I’m a bit of a greenhorn when it comes to lamenting. You said something about lamenting, to me, before. It stuck with me. I can’t remember anyone ever explaining that lamenting is expected. I’d never given it much thought either.

      Since you said that, I have lamented, but I still can’t imagine shaking my fist at God. It doesn’t seem fair. He just wants what’s best for me. I may not always understand or see what He’s doing, but I do trust His wisdom and that He loves me. So… with that in mind I don’t understand shaking a fist at God. I guess I’d have to be pretty hurt and mad.

      Sometimes when I don’t understand something I’ll say to God, “I don’t need to understand that!” I know the only way I’ll really understand some things is to go through it myself. I don’t want to go through everything… I want to learn, but I don’t want to learn everything the hard way!

      Actually, one night when I was really tired of feeling unwell, and I didn’t want to get mad at God, I was praying for his help not to be mad at him…lol. I don’t know… I just really don’t want to go there…

  4. Amen! I was so tempted to write what you commented “…be careful what you ask for.” But you know what? I couldn’t do it. Not even jokingly because even though some of the things we ask for will require pain I don’t want to be afraid of that. If I’m afraid of the pain, I’ll miss out on the blessing.

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