Are You God only on our mountaintops? Are You not also God in our valleys? Have You not chosen, O God, to draw us into a deeper place of love and dependence in these very desolate times of our lives, when all other means of support and comfort have been withdrawn? How quickly we look to other people and other things for our help. But Your love for us is too great, Your desire for a people too strong, to allow us to continue to place our trust in any other. And so we come to the valley of the shadow of death and you will not allow us to run through quickly to the other side, but You insist that we walk through. And there in the valley, as our hearts are stripped of independence and pride, we see that when all else is gone, You remain. Oh the wisdom of God! We would never willingly choose the valley, but You have set times that You have ordained it for us. How we murmur and complain as we begin to traverse it. How we pity ourselves and our miserable condition. Until that moment when You still our hearts and reveal to us the blessing of the wilderness.
Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
“And it shall be, in that day,”
Says the LORD,
“That you will call Me “My Husband,’
And no longer call Me “My Master,’
For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals,
And they shall be remembered by their name no more.
In that day I will make a covenant for them
With the beasts of the field,
With the birds of the air,
And with the creeping things of the ground.
Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth,
To make them lie down safely.
“I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the LORD. Hosea 2:14-20
In the dry desert places of our lives, may we find You Oh God. And let our hearts sing in that wilderness place as we discover that in You we have a love that is sufficient for all things.