Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
—Psalm 23:4 NLT
You thought you would never find yourself in this dark valley. You have loved Him, and served Him for years. But here you are—unable to feel His grace that has been your constant companion—unable to move out of what John of the Cross termed “the dark night of the soul”. Trying everything that you know—pleading in prayer, reading Scripture, seeking direction from those you trust, you are just treading water. You believe if you let go of your struggling to stay afloat, you will drown. But that is what He asks—for you to let go and surrender—to stop striving and let Him bring you through this darkness.
You cannot bring yourself through on your own strength. You cannot lead. You cannot save. You cannot teach yourself the lesson. He alone can show you when you allow it. He calls for surrender of all you have perceived about yourself. He calls of surrender of feelings, and what you believe are your rights. It is so painful to fight against surrender to His lesson. If not given willingly, surrender hurts. If not given to God, as He gave the gift of His life to you, you remain in bitter darkness. But you do not have to be alone. You do not have to fear. He is with you—just waiting for your willing surrender. His rod and staff will teach you and guide you safely through your dark valley— if you will just permit.
Surrender in your valley is difficult when you cannot feel His grace. But surrender in your valley is where His grace sets you free. Begin the journey to freedom. Just let go, and trust His rod and His staff. You shall run in the path of His commands once again— when you have allowed Him to set your heart free.
© 2017 Lynn Lacher