A few days ago, while driving my kids to an appointment I got to listen to one of Pastor Joel Osteen’s sermons. I enjoy listening his teachings as he speaks biblical truths that resonate with my spirit. Anyhow, he spoke about renaming your valley and brought to reference the famous and familiar Psalm 23 “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil…” This verse is well known within the Christian circle, yet I believe many of us don’t quite understand it… At least I didn’t!
I always thought this verse refers to walking through a very difficult circumstance like facing a terminal illness or standing in the gap of life and death. I never thought the correlation of the meaning “valley” to the multiple “life challenges” we may face. Pastor Joel Osteen presented the concept in this way which was very new to me. So, I couldn’t help myself and I immediately started to generate a mental list of all of those valleys I must rename. Like the valley of disappointment, the valley of failure, the valley of insecurity, the valley of sickness, the valley of pain, the valley of discouragement, the valley of control, and the list could go on, but I had to stop myself.
He furthered explained that we are never stuck in our valleys nor do we need to fight them. We are here to learn lessons and be promoted. I couldn’t help to wonder how long I had been stuck in any given valley. Could it be that I was stuck because I had not yet learned my lesson? Or because I was choosing to fight for my NEED to be right over my need to be well? How does this apply to my cancer journey?
Cancer has given me an invitation to live differently for sure. My poor body had been dealing with many toxic valleys for soooo long. I know that cancer was just a manifestation of conflict within myself. And, I now know I have been invited to resolve this conflict. My job is to figure out what valleys I must rename and keep my body mind and spirit in balance just how God intended for us to live.
No matter what our valleys look like we must persevere. I know when dealing with cancer we can feel overwhelmed, hopeless and discouraged very quickly. Reflect back on Psalm 23 as it says “Though I walk THROUGH…” we are not called to dwell in any challenging valley. We are called to pass through it and look ahead to an ending point in victory because God is the author of peace restoration and total healing. No matter what it looks like for us right now, our eyes must rise above our circumstances.
I know this is easier said than done but I know we must try daily. What if we lived our lives like if what God says is actually true? It is clear to me that we will always have a choice. We can choose to live in daily victory with peace hope love and joy or we may choose to live in hopelessness, discouraged, depressed and defeated. I know I may sound idealistic to many but honestly I rather create my reality in this mindset than to dwell in dark valleys for the rest of my life. We are called to live as if we are in heaven, we are citizens of this kingdom and as such we must live in authority renaming those dark valleys. We are all TERMINAL but not all of us CHOOSE to live this way. Let’s live a life worth remembering, where our valleys carry His fragrance. Choose to believe Him.
What about you? Do you believe Him? What valleys must you rename? I truly encourage you to self-examine and rename your valleys to prosperity, success, health, joy, hope, love, peace, self-control or whatever you feel you need to rename. I really appreciate this lesson and I hope you find it helpful as well. Praying for much love and healing your way!
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