Have you ever been through a valley where life seemed tasteless? Sometimes it’s circumstantial, emotional, or a physical event that comes upon us with a vengeance. When these events become long-term, life can get a difficult to bear.
Nobody understood this more than a man named Job. In a moment’s time he lost his family, possessions, livelihood, and health. In the deepest part of his trial he says this.
Job 6:6-7 Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg? The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.
Life becomes tasteless as the white of an egg in times of discouragement. Egg whites are bland and tasteless, but people have convinced us they are healthy. There is only real use for egg whites, add a bunch of sugar, whip it up and bake it on top of a coconut cream pie!
When life is tasteless, the Bible becomes little more than words on a page. Our prayers feel like they are falling to the ground. We don’t see answers to our prayers and honestly, we don’t expect any. Even church becomes little more than something we do.
[bctt tweet=” A valley is nothing more than a place between two mountaintops.” username=”michaelkduff”]
Ever been there? The mountaintop is nothing more than a distant memory as we slide down the slopes of the valley.
Job 6:8-9 Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for! Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!
You get the feeling that Job is not having a good day? Asking God to kill us is a good indicator we are in a valley. It’s a place of despair where we try to climb out, only to slide back down.
Passing through a valley is difficult, but we need to remember, a valley is nothing more than a place between two mountaintops.
Job was ready to give up because he did not believe it was possible for him to see good days again.
There is a phrase we need to hold tight to in the valley, “And it came to pass!” We may not know how long the valley is, but we must trust that God is not going to leave us there.
There are some things we need to do in the valley because our actions there will affect the outcome of our trial.
I. THE VALLEY REQUIRES OBEDIENCE
Job 6:10 Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.
There is benefit in plain old obedience. If we are obedient through the valley, God will bless our obedience. How much greater will the blessings be when we are on the mountaintop again? Its like Job is saying, “If nothing else through this trial – I can take comfort in the fact that I have not denied my God.”
Our obedience in the trial, determines what our faith looks like on the other side of the trial.
II. THE VALLEY REQUIRES EXERCISE
Job 6:11-12 What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life? Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass?
Job’s trial brought physical pain as God gave Satan permission to devastate Job physically. Job’s journey through the valley required an incredible amount of physical healing.
If we are in a time of trial, we have to pay attention to our health. Sitting and sulking will make it harder when the time comes to climb.
You don’t climb out of a valley all at once, it takes many small steps. When I was a runner the countryside where we ran was very hilly. Not long comfortable hills, but short steep hills.
My running coach taught us how to get up the hills without yielding to discouragement. He said when you hit the hill, fix your eyes a short distance up the hill and run to it, then the next spot and the next. Don’t look at the top of the hill, just the next spot. When you get to the top, you will be amazed at how far you have come!
III. THE VALLEY REQUIRES FELLOWSHIP
Job 6:13 Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me?
Job had some friends with him, but as we read the rest of the book, his friends stunk. Even God said so! You know you are a bad friend when God says you stink!
Job cried out that he was utterly helpless. When we are waking through a valley, we are tempted to give in to the lie that we are all alone.
But the only Christian who is helpless is the one who makes that choice. God has given us what we need to help us through the valley. He has placed people in our lives to build us up, encourage us, and sharpen us.
[bctt tweet=”What happens in the valley, determines the height of the mountain top.” username=”michaelkduff”]
If you are in a valley today, find someone to walk through it with! If you are on the mountaintop, pull someone up! Christ never intended for us to live in a dry tasteless existence. In fact the opposite is true.
John 10:10a …I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
I wish there was a prayer could change everything. But the best thing I can share with you today is, hang in there; choose obedience, take care of yourself and find some fellowship, because the thing about this trial is, it came to pass!
On the other side of the trial, God blessed Job more than he could have ever imagined. But here’s the hard part, there were 41 chapters between the bottom of the valley and the top of the mountain. For Job, just like for us, what happens in the valley, determines the height of the mountain top.