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In the Valley of the Shadow

In the Valley of the Shadow

110517My daughter died in January 2014. In times of great stress like death of a family member we have to rely on God’s strength, not our own.

Oswald Chambers said, “We are not built for the mountains and the dawns and aesthetic affinities, those are for moments of inspiration, that is all. We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our mettle.” ~

Oswald is right, we are built for the valley. The time in the valley is a time to grow spiritually. We choose to walk in the Spirit or in the flesh. This valley time for me has been a constant challenge to stay ahead of anger and bitterness. Anger blocks the Spirit of God from working through us.

There are times in the valley when I lean on God and get victory and times when I give in to flesh and struggle to let go and let God.

I learn about humility and learning more about waiting on Him in the valley. Praise God; in my weakness He is strong.

“Are you going to believe what the Lord says, no matter what He allows into your life?” Yes! I’ve flunked the test of faith but God gives make-up tests. In faith I believe God will stretch and develop me until I am the woman He desires me to be. My job is to trust, pray, forgive and love. The valley is a chance to prove our mettle (vigor and strength of spirit or temperament.)

Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:16-17)

God Can Use Our Suffering

God, our loving Heavenly Father, uses suffering or misfortune in our lives to prove our faith or to test our character.

As a parent I would never push my son into the road in front of traffic, but if my son ran out into the road I would discipline him to teach him of the possible danger. I have purposely inflicted temporary pain on my son’s backside to teach him to avoid greater pain in the future. I am much wiser than he is. I can see a bigger picture.

Sin and disobedience usually cause our suffering, but God can use it to make us stronger if we let Him. Character built by the Holy Spirit is different compared to our born again experience. Salvation is a gift. Character growth is built through proving: tribulation, hardships, sorrow, and trials.

“Count it all a joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” James 1:2-3

We are human. We spend a great deal of our lives seeking comforts and avoiding pain because it is natural to relate negatively to suffering.

Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

When we ask God to make us Christ-like we need to expect difficulties which allow Him to break our pride, rebellion, selfishness and independence so we can learn to be totally dependent on Him.

If we believe God’s Word we can embrace obstacles and difficulties. We can look at the bigger picture and see God has a greater plan. Please pray for my children to feel God’s love during their pain. 



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  1. Your plea touched my heart because I have been where you are. In fact sometimes I think I have pitched my tent in the valley! I will be praying for you. I am so sorry for all the hard times you are going through – life is hard – Jesus told us it would be. Be He also said to take heart because He has overcome the world. Hang in there Robin. The sun will shine again for you.

  2. Robin you are in my prayers. Thank you for participating. While reading this the thing that kept coming to mind, is how much and deep our trials is, is how much and deep God wants to bless you on the other side of the trials. Hold on, be faithful, and don’t let Satan get any hold.


  3. Praying for you: That God would shine His light in your darkness; that you would have the strength to make it through each day; that you would keep your eyes focused on Him; that you would feel His embrace…that God would grant the grace for you to be steadfast in this dark hour.

  4. Robin,
    The beautiful thing is that WE can pray for you and your family…That is what the ‘Body of Christ’ was made for…
    You are in my prayers, praying that you will cling to HIM..
    When I am in a valley, I cling to words spoken to me many years ago..”NO storm can shake my inmost calm, when to this ROCK I’m clinging.”
    Cling Sister, Cling!!

    And when you get to that mountain..you will see the valley in which you have come from…you will be refreshed and made new and descend to tell others what you KNOW!

    Peace, I pray for peace for you and hope, that brighter days are coming..
    In Him,

  5. Rosemarie

    Dearest Sister in Christ,

    I have too been in valley where my spiritual convictions were challenged. God has done a great work not in others, but in me. Wait on Him to show you the way because your journey is unique and unlike others who have had similar trials.

    GOD will restore what the locust have eaten, but it probably won’t happen the way you think and you may still have to make concessions, but GOD will do His work and it will be done without sorrow or regret. Be encouraged, you will be on the mountaintop proclaiming His good works!

    Abundant Blessings…
    Joel 2:25-26

  6. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Just remember that God is always in control of all situations in our lives. Lean on Him for everything. He will walk with you through it all.

    Blessings to you!

  7. Oh Sweet Robin~
    Know that I’m praying for you!! Often tims the valley experiences can seem long, and hard…in fact, my dh and I have been in one for 2 years….and there are days (TRUST ME)when I beat myself over the head asking…WHY Lord…WHY….

    It’s been a choice of mine to now ask WHAT Lord…WHAT….What are you wanting to teach and reveal to my heart…about my heart!!

    Praying that God’s peace floods your soul today!!!

  8. I came over here from Debbie’s blog. Your heart cry touched mine and I will pray for you! I just read your post and you have had a whole bunch of stuff to deal with, my goodness! You are going on my prayer list for sure…. Grams

  9. I have been enjoying the posts I have been reading for the Tuesday in other words. I have not done this before.

    Thank you for posting… This has been a good topic.


  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this quote and calling out for prayer. Yes, it does sound like you are in a valley and need as many believers interceding on your behalf. I will do so today for you. And you are wise to stay in the Word. Believe God’s truth in your circumstances and not the world’s. Don’t be shy about asking for help, either. We are not meant to carry our burdens alone, but to shoulder them for one another. I will pray for tangible help to surround you today!

  11. Robin,
    This scripture came to me:
    James 1:12
    Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

    When you go through things with your family and when other’s don’t understand the “WHY” of how you believe its hard. We have gone through that and there has been times I just have to “let go and let God”. When he begins to show you things , like homeschooling. My entire family on hubby’s side have completely stopped talking to us now for almost 7 yrs. And the way we believe….the Lord has shown me it’s not me but it’s HIM they are rejecting but we are to pray for them and trust the Lord to show them the truth. Arguing is not the answer , it’s only prayer and wooing of the Holy Spirit. I will be praying for you, I know we are going through some tought times right now and know we have to pray for each other and God will take us through.

  12. Robin,
    I stopped back again after reading your pleas and NEEDED to remind you that saying that prayers are being said…really MEANS prayers are being said!
    I can not tell you how many times I thought of you today and stopped and prayed..
    I hope you feel it!
    peace Robin peace,

  13. My dearest Robin,

    I am praying for you and your family. God hears your crys. He knows just what you need. Continue to give Him your all.

    It is never easy to walk through these things but oh the victorious memories and escalated faith we receive once we look back at where we once were. God will take you through. Just Follow Him.

  14. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I’ll definitely keep you in my prayers. You have been through a lot, yet you remain faithful! Your testimony is a sweet fragrance!

    I have no words of my own to comfort you except His Word. . .
    Isaiah 40:28-31
    Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

  15. Robin….read back over all the sweet comments…write down the scripture verses….feel the Lord as the annointing from the throne pours over you. I FELT the anxiety in your post. GOD knows WHERE you are! He is performing a good work…something that today you can’t see. But when the dawn brings the sun….the light will shine through you. Through every situation that we as His children suffer through…God does not waste the suffering. He will get glory from our lives.
    Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
    One of my favorite passages is this:
    2Corinthians 4:7-18 “But this precious treasure-this light and power that now shine within us-is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.
    We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit.
    We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.
    Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
    Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be obvious in our dying bodies.
    So we live in the face of death, but it has resulted in eternal life for you.
    But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, and so I speak.”
    We know that the same God who raised our Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself along with you.
    All of these things are for your benefit. And as God’s grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
    That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.
    For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!
    So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.” I want to underline the last line but can’t!
    My prayer for you is that the Lord will bathe you in His divine presence. That you will “FEEL” His power as He restores your soul/heart/mind/body to strength in Jesus name! I pray that you will be able to sleep peacefully at night and that your heart/mind will know and realize that these things are absolutely momentary—fleeting—and that victory is in sight!
    I love and appreciate your witness for Him, for taking the time to visit LWG. I will be praying for YOU. 🙂
    God bless you Robin. ((((hugs)))

  16. P.S. the scripture references I used were from the NLT version.

  17. I am lifting your dear family up in my prayers. I am so very sorry that you are in such a deep valley right now. Remember, the God of the mountain, is also the God of the valley. Our problems may seem big, but our God is much bigger. I am here for you if you need to talk, or vent. Bless you sweetir, love you.

  18. Praying for you and loving you in the LORD.
    I love Oswald Chambers. He knows how to bring it right back to me.
    You are so passing these tests, Robin, whether you feel like you are or not. Believe me… I am a great fail-er at such things, so I know. But, God is using every failure and every success to shape and grow you and all of those around you.
    And, I just learned a secret… God knew you were going to fail, before you did it, and He had His grace ready before you needed it. He also had a place for your tears and groanings before you uttered them.
    Thank you for this post. For your transparency. As I said before, I am not near courageous enough to say the things you do, and you have so many who love you and are lifting you up in prayer because of your humility.
    God has His plan to fulfill through you, and I know He is faithful. He obviously counts you as faithful, as He has led so many of us to you!
    I pray for wisdom and strength for you as you walk in this valley. We cannot control anything, as much as we think we do, but we know God is faithful and will finish it and keep us through it.
    Blessings and prayers – and a GREAT BIG HUG!!!
    Love, J

  19. I’m praying for you, Robin. This post reminded me of Paul and his trials. You’re in good company. I’m sorry I missed SSSS. I’m in a bit of a valley myself at the moment, thankyou for dropping by. I am praying for you and lifting you up in spirit my dear friend.

  20. I am in a valley of sorts right now…trying to figure things out, regain focus, etc. Hubs also switched jobs and even though it was a much needed switch, transitions are always hard. I am currently home alone b/c he’s on a business trip and we are used to him doing that. I miss him! Anyway, just know you are not alone. Thanks for your words.

  21. Sharon Sue

    Well, guess what-you are normal!!!!! God knows it and he is holding you up. He has not left, taken a vacation or turned against you when you have been weak!!!!! Who he is does not depends on how strong we are, it all depends on who he is!!!!! I am keeping you in my prayers.

    I can so identify with what you are going through. We have had to move twice in nine months-we are now in an apartment, which is a tremendous challenge-waiting on God to give us the house he has for us. My mother died just a year ago from cancer and I miss her so. I am helping my dad-I have no help in this endeavor. I fight chronic illness-I am in tremendous pain all the time and struggle with chronic fatigue. My dear husband has had trouble keeping steady income in his business and our finances had gotten horrible-things seem to be turning around the past two months-praise God. We have a 23 year old daughter who can’t seem to get on with life, so we help her as much as possible. Our son has learning disabilities and is a great challenge. We have some relationship issues with family and “friends”!! I suppose there are other trials but this is enough to give you the picture.

    I have sought God at every turn, but as things have seemed to get worse, I have found it difficult to trust that God will care for us. I often worry, I cry, I have been depressed. I have failed miserabley.

    I have finally come to the understanding that God’s ability to care for me does not depend on my level of faith!!!! He understand all the issues of life. Since he gave his son for me when I was yet a sinner, I know he is still working on my behalf even when I am weak.

    Do do your best day to day, trust him and run to him as best you can, then let him do his thing on your behalf, in his time, in his way. He knows what he is doing!!!!!

    God bless you dear sister.

  22. Hang in there. God has a plan for your life and these trials bring you closer to Him as he prepares you for your purposes. We’ll be praying for you and your family.

  23. Robin, my sister in Jesus,

    I just sent you an email that I wish I could take back, after having read this post. To ask you to give and give without considering your humanity…I forget that behind the “lady who ispires me” is a lady. A lady. You speak with such emotion and honesty. Your transparency and vulnerability are straight and true arrows.

    I will pray for you, for your family. Our God is sovereign and merciful. May you find refreshing in the Living Water.

    Thank-you for more than what you do, thank-you for who you are.

  24. Hi Robin,

    How much encouragement can one person take! I wanted to tell you that God is with you even when nothing makes sense and life is a roller coaster that seems to have no end. I didn’t know until I started to leave a comment how many people beat me to it! Wow, you have a lot of people in your corner! Remember all of us when family members question your beliefs and tear down the things that are so dear to your heart. We truly do love you and are praying for you. I know that these prayers are effective and that you’re probably back up on the mountain top as you read this. Circumstances change, but God’s love for us remains the same.


  25. Vienna


    Don’t worry. Really, worry has nothing to do with God. It is neither our right nor in our best interest to worry. You can ask the Helper for help. It’s like you are in a tight canyon, harldy able to turn to the right or to the left, but when you come through it will be into a wide open plain. Maybe the Lord is getting you ready to enlarge your borders.
    God bless you and Ronnie. God bless your strength, and may He send diamonds just in time to encourage you.


  26. Please be encouraged! I have just entered another valley myself. But,I have been so blessed through your transparency and HOW approach! God is uses these valleys for His glory!

  27. I so agree with you — there are many issues we battle as Christians. When I look back on all the struggles I have had — God had His reasons to allow them. I realize through all those battle with the flesh, that He is the only one that can change me — from the inside out, when I let Him.

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this week’s IOW quote.

    Be blessed today and always.

  28. Angela

    Dear Robin,
    We are praying for you.
    Psalms 16:11 You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy. In your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
    Psalms 30:5His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may stay for the night, But joy comes in the morning.
    Psalms 17:8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; Hide me under the shadow of your wings,
    I pray the joy of our Lord would be your strength in this challlanging time & that you find peace & rest in Him. Bless you!

  29. I am walking through a valley myself. Along with you sudden changes in family situations are challenging our family. But we press forward and we are reminded that it’s not by might, nor by power but by the Spirit of the Lord.

    Thank you for this wonderful encouragement and for being “real”!

  30. Sharon from Texas

    Wow, I, too, have been in a valley for the past 6 months…with no relief in my sight. I am sure my Savior has other plans for me that are wonderful and great. I know he has great plans for you and yours…keep the faith as I pray for you and your family.

    I pray daily for wisdom and discernment. And I will pray for your needs and wants to be supplied. He said He would supply our every need. He stands on His promises to us, even though we break ours to Him.

    Be blessed and just know that God is crazy about you.
    Sharon from Texas

  31. Robin, I just wanted to tell you that you and your writing have been such an encouragement to me and my family over the past few years! You have taught us so much, and we don’t even personally know you. We are praying for you and your family.

  32. My sincere condolences. I say my prayers for your children to feel God’s love at this most sad and painful of times. He has already given them a most precious gift to help them, YOU!

  33. Praying for you and your children, Robin. Great message in this article, too — Thank you. And thank you for your continued willingness to stay the course, to be ceaselessly molded into our Lord’s likeness. I so appreciate you.

  34. Robin —

    You and your entire family are in my prayers!

    Nothing else I say will matter other than this — God’s grace is sufficient!


  35. I do not drop a bunch of comments, but I read a bunch of responses here In the Valley :
    Homeschool Blog. I actually do have a few questions for you
    if it’s allright. Could it be only me or do some of the remarks appear like they are coming from brain dead people? 😛 And, if you are writing on other online social sites, I’d like to keep up with
    you. Would you post a list of the complete urls of all your social networking sites like your twitter feed,
    Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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