Nehemiah re-built The Valley Gate. This is a difficult gate and one that we don’t much want to go through- the valley experiences. We would all much prefer to stay on the mountain top and enjoy those experiences with God but life for most of us is not like that – even the Christian life – it has mountains and valleys. We will face difficult times and times of struggle. It is in such times that our faith is tested and stretched but often it is these experiences which can lead to growth and strength in our faith.
The valley gate can be a necessary path to what God is preparing in us and for us. The valleys develop our faith and trust in God and we learn from these experience that God is loving, faithful to His promises and His Word and able to sustain us. We also develop empathy and compassion for those in or who will also go through similar circumstances. We have testimonies to share.
Humility and the valley gate in my experience can sometimes go together hand in hand. I have had to humble myself under God’s mighty hand before I realise that I can’t handle situations on my own or with my own wisdom and little understanding. Once I submit and surrender to God and acknowledge my dependence on Him, then I have felt His peace and His presence even in the most difficult of situations.
Valley Gates are painful. Jesus went through a valley gate when He went from Mt Olives through the Kidron Gate into the Garden of Gethsemane and then to the Cross. Jesus was in agony in the garden but He yielded to God’s will to be done.
Most of us will go or have been through valley experiences but the encouragement is that we are never alone at those times and we can get through them with God’s strength and support. Jesus promised that He will never leave us or forsake us. He will lead us through the valley – even the valley of death. The words of Psalm 23 encourage us that God is with us and will not forsake us and will comfort us in time of sorrow, grief, difficulty and pain.
If you are in a valley situation right now – I pray that you will have the strength and faith to keep going, don’t give up. I encourage you to ask for God’s help and help from others. God will show you the way and lead you through to the other side.