Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Ever felt like you were trapped in a bad dream? You wake up each morning, and you’re still in the dream. Maybe life is monotonous. Maybe it’s painful. Maybe “bad dream” isn’t strong enough to describe your life, but “nightmare” is more appropriate…except you aren’t sleeping. Whatever your affliction, it is very real.

If you’ve ever been in such a long, deep, valley, it can be very, very oppressive to your spirit. There are blessings to be found, however. The fact that you know you’re in a bad dream means God has snapped you out of the funk that many around you are still in. And because of that awareness, He’s giving you the opportunity to change up your approach (which hasn’t been working too well so far) to honor Him even more than you had before.

We also know that He will accompany us through this valley as we train our eyes on Him and not ourselves or the valley itself. He is above all of our peaks and valleys, and He merely asks that we trust in Him and hang in there while we walk in faith and obedience. By doing that, we will live above our circumstances, not so easily swayed when winds and waters change.

There is a greater purpose for this valley, and the fact that you can see you’re in it will help you remember the one who can help you emerge from it. Then, you can one day look back at the valley from a better vantage point, and see the Lord’s masterful work in your life and the lives that intersect yours.

How well we do during trials and the valleys directly correlate to how dependent we are on Him, for we can only go so far in our own strength…but we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength! Take heart, because valleys are merely the spaces between higher places…keep walking with the Lord through them, and you will end up on higher ground, stronger because of it!