2 Words in 1
In the Valley, He Restoreth
It’s rather a bit easy, to praise God and feel on top of the mountain, when everything is going well. It may even be fun to be grateful for all that you have; when all of your needs have been met. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, to thank God that you are not homeless; when you are not homeless. When you are out there, fighting for your very life, and scratching for a meager existence, gratitude can be hard to come by. Everyone likes the mountain top; where we rise above all our failures.
I’ve always loved this song; I can relate to it so much. The real journey, is the one that says, I’m low in spirit. Lord, lift me up. It might never occur to some, that writers most often, lived the lines they wrote. One of the most important phrases of this message is, He draws me aside, to be tested and tried. I’d like to say this with all of the humility I might do it with. I never did learn to love Jesus Christ more and know Him in a fuller, richer way, until I had lost everything that ever meant anything to me. I don’t suggest that every person has to lose all to get that; just that many of us actually did.
For eons of time, we have loved the words to that Psalm. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. When you think about it, really, this is an awfully low and often fearful place; the shadow of death. And if I’m real, one won’t likely ever truly relate to this place; unless, you’ve been there. There is also a part of this journey, that little was taught about. Knowing the death of Christ, within you; having a taste of the dying out. If we never walk anywhere close to, or have fellowship with that kind of pain and suffering, we’ll likely never appreciate the price that was paid for us.
Restoration, to me, is one of the most beautiful things we might possess. I think that if we’re honest, we likely appreciate old furniture, an old house or old automobile, because we think about the hard work that went into it. But, just seeing something that was rusted, bruised, perhaps tossed aside and forgotten, brought back to its original state and be of good use again, will bring about a special feeling of worth. But, woe is me, if anyone had seen the rough sanding, the beating of the hammer, the total taking apart and the numerous tries and failures, that it took to restore, or to be restored.
The valley, can be a lush and plentiful space. But in this case, it is referring to the low places; the hard places, where the sun seems hidden and there are many tears. Honestly, I would not want to go back through some of the places I’ve been. And, I wouldn’t want anyone else to go there either. But I must be genuine and real today. Those dark and lonely places, are what has made me stronger today. Those places, even though I did not know it at the time, were where Jesus proved Himself; He kept His word. He never left; I was never truly forsaken. Thank Him for the valley? In due time.
For when I am Weak, then am I Strong
That is so against our flesh. It likely rubs some the wrong way, that the great Apostle, would say such a thing. The man who was chosen by God, wrote so much of the NT, and taught so much of what many believe today, literally tore down our sense of self-ego and self-centeredness. A weak apostle. Who would ever have thought of such a thing; only when he is weak, then, he is at his very best.
This man was shown great mysteries; taken to places in the Spirit, most of us will never get to; and he doesn’t take the chance to boast about it. Oh, as he said, he could have boasted; he certainly didn’t lag behind in any of the things the others did. He was one of the most educated people of that period; never knowing, he had been ordained and chosen, long before it ever entered into his mind. He was smart, motivated and quite successful in the things he set out to do. Until, something knocked him to the ground.
It’s no wonder, that many find the word of God, confusing. There is a side of the Almighty Creator, that we the people, have a hard time relating to. It is that idea, that He uses weak persons, those with much less knowledge or understanding, to show up those who think they know so much. I think we know in truth, that God will not use us when we are full of self and are apt to flaunt our own strength and accomplishments. It’s why I often times cannot understand, those who think they can actually share His glory.
See, it’s not until the Spirit really uses you, that you realize the difference. I am even yet learning, that He will use me the most, when there is no doubt that I couldn’t take credit for His work; even if I wanted to. It’s obvious, why so many seem to shy away from the real fruit of the Spirit; they cannot deal with that word “meekness.” It just doesn’t set well with man’s thinking, to see that the more humble we are, the more God can use us. I understand our ideas today, that we need to realize what mighty warriors we are and how much we can do; it’s true. But Paul, was mightily used, by being weak.
The strength of humbling ourselves, seems a bit lost in modern times. Most humans will take meekness, for weakness. But not God. In reality, He does not like arrogance and self-promotion; it’s not true Spirituality to Him. It just not often occurs so much anymore, that we can do greater battle, on our knees, than we can do up swinging our sword. “My strength, is made perfect, in weakness.” All in all, it’s saying, “when I am weak in human strength, then, am I strong in divine strength.” The best way to be truly used of God today, is to stay meek; step back, and get out of His way.
~ Robert Blackburn