Last week was a very trying week for me. This week hasn’t started so well either. I would never use the phrase “everything that could go wrong did go wrong” because it is my belief that if I’m alive to make that statement, it’s not a true statement at all. Everything that could go wrong did not go wrong. However, there were a few things that I deem to be necessary for me to fulfill my everyday obligations that suddenly stopped working. Due to those things malfunctioning, I had unexpected expenses to pay.
There was a big prayer request that I laid before the Lord. This weekend, I received the news that God had allowed the exact opposite of what I was praying for to happen. Since I have not been specific with exactly what has happened, it may seem as if all together, these things were not that big of a deal. In all actuality, for me, they’re huge deals. They all have impacted other areas of my life in some way. Right now would be the perfect time to throw a pity party and start inviting guests to it. I’ve chosen to not do that because in my years of living, I’ve learned a few things about going through. If we stay alive long enough, we will all go through. Feeling sorry for yourself or complaining will not change anything. I’ve started looking at my problems from a different perspective. This new view has changed my life and diminished stress levels for me. I figured that someone could use the glass half full perspective today. This is how I see things.
Valleys are Mountain Indicators
If you are experiencing a “valley season” in your life, keep walking. In Psalm 23: 4, David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” The words “walk through” stand out to me. We will all face valleys or low points in our lives. The key to getting back on top is to keep walking. You see, valleys are simply low areas of land between hills or mountains. This suggests that if you keep walking through the valley season, you will eventually approach another hill or mountain season. The more consistently you keep walking, the sooner you’ll get there.
God is There With You
Also in Psalm 23:4, David says “for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” I’ve learned that I would rather have the valley over the mountain any day if God is with me in the valley. One thing I have learned about valleys is that they will often have a river or stream running along the bottom. Rivers can be a sign of refreshment and refueling since they can be used for fishing. See God in the valley by taking advantage of the rivers or streams he has given you access to. You wouldn’t have had that access had you still been on the mountain. Let what appears to be a low time in your life actually teach you how much God is orchestrating the affairs of your life. The enemy would love for you to get frustrated and give him the credit for it. However, when you can recognize God even in the low places of life, you have become acquainted with Romans 8:28. And we know that ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
It Could Be Worse
So, here is some of the unpacking of what has happened this week. My car broke down. My cell phone suddenly stopped working. I had to pay for auto parts and labor. I had to pay for a tow truck. I had to wait days for my replacement cell phone to arrive. Hopefully, it will be here tomorrow. My job is a very mobile job and both my phone and my transportation are essential to my ability to fulfill my obligations. There’s more and the more is so much more devastating. I haven’t been given permission to give those details so I’ll refrain from doing so. What I will say is that it could be worse. At least I own a vehicle that someone can fix. At least I have a way to communicate with the outside world. Even in the last case, it was a tragedy of one when it could have been more than one. Because it could be worse, I have chosen to praise God because it’s not. When we find the thing that is praise worthy in the middle of what seems complain worthy, we prove to God that we’ve learned HOW to go through.
Romel Gibson is a youth and college pastor, mentor, community leader, motivational speaker, musician, and songwriter living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He serves as a full- time Campus Life Director with Youth for Christ, one of the largest non-profit youth evangelism ministries in the world. As a songwriter, his most notable works include L. Spenser Smith and Testament (Greater, Surgery), Tonya Baker (Miracles), The Anointed Pace Sisters (Praise and Worship), Myron Butler (Changed), Marvin Sapp (Never), Ruben Studdard (Holding On To You Lord), and Johnny Gill (Black Box).Romel has been married for 11 years to his college best friend Quanedra. Together they have been blessed with three beautiful daughters; Allayna Pilar, Moriah Kelis, and Rylee Addison.