Have you ever had one of "those" seasons? A season that IS long or seems longer because of all the trials and storms in the journey? A season that even though you KNOW in your knower that it will end well, your eyes seem to have more sway with your mindset than what you KNOW in your heart? Maybe discouraged? Maybe struggling? Maybe looking like the valley of the shadow is looming and dark? Maybe you are moving ahead but it's slow or you feel stagnant?
And while I'm not in one of "those" seasons in the moment, goodness knows I have walked them. The long suffering. The storms. The shadows. The sufferings. The struggles. The stagnation. And while all those "S's" are in the valley of the shadow during one of "those" seasons, so is The Shepherd. The Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd that leads, guides and never abandons you. Your hope in the dark. Your eyes may not be able to SEE the mountain top, the place you are journeying TOWARD but The Refuge is beside you. Your shelter. Your strength.
Are you strong? Maybe so. But you and I weren't built for this journey alone. You might be strong but it's in your broken, weak and vulnerable places that God's handiwork is exalted and His glory shines brightest. He is strong and His strength, His sheltering, His shepherding is what saves us. It's what gets us THROUGH. Don't forget, it's not a place to reside but you are journeying THROUGH the valley of the shadow. And for there to BE shadows, The Light must be present.
I pray today that you are encouraged and hopeful if you are walking in one of "those" seasons. I pray you know and feel The Good Shepherd's hand and covering while you journey. I pray you cast all those anxieties on Him and hope in Him. I pray that you stop striving in your own strength in these valleys and storms and struggles and lay down your life before Him and watch what He does IN and through you. As you journey THROUGH. The story will be amazing. The Good Shepherd knows the way.