Rejoicing in the Valley

Yesterday morning I sat down at a kitchen table, and for the first time in over a month, had devotions from an actual Bible. For some this may not seem like a very big deal, but for me it was an incredible blessing.

Many of you know that in March, I began to have serious eyesight issues because of cataracts in both eyes (with my left being more severe). As time passed, my eyes continued to degenerate, till in mid-May reading my Bible was almost impossible.

Because of the greater medical technology in America I after prayer decided to take a medical furlough at the end of June instead of getting the surgery done in Saint Vincent. While this was definitely the right decision to make, it meant putting up with blurred eyesight for a long time.

Over time, the frustration of not being able to do things I was used to doing (like reading my Bible) grew and grew. I finally reached the breaking point, and allowed the quiet anger about my situation to become discouragement and depression……

That was three weeks before the flight!

Thankfully the Lord convicted me of my self-pity, and I submitted to a life with massive cataracts (though it was frustrating).

God through the Holy Spirit brought verses to mind that helped me submit to the frustrating situation. One that was particularly encouraging was Jeremiah 29:5

Jeremiah 29:5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;

Jeremiah here is speaking to Jews who were in Babylonian captivity. Many of them were frustrated by their lack of freedom, and would later try to escape Babylons control with the power of Egypt. Jeremiah though encourages them to do something different….

He tells them to submit in captivity

Instead of trying to escape the situation that they hated, they were encouraged to continue there long-term. As they flourished in a painful situation, the Lord promised to give peace.

The application is to stop fighting the plan of God. There is no way that we can escape it anyways! Instead of looking for a way out, the Lord calls us to humbly accept the trial that comes from His hand. Because we know the Lord who brought us in, will bring us out.

For me personally that verse meant accepting both the good times, and bad times from God. It’s amazing how we praise God on the mountaintop, but have a terrible attitude in the valley isn’t it? But as we commit ourselves to consistent service in the valley, God will do a great work.

I can honestly say living with severe cataracts wasn’t enjoyable, but I thank God for it. Because its in the valley that He drew me closer to Himself.

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