Valleys Our Door of Hope
“Now unto him that is able to do
exceeding abundantly above all
that we ask or think”
The valleys of the Christian walk are difficult but necessary. It is in the valleys that our vision of Him is narrowed and our world seems black and white. Life becomes a series of endless, relentless steps seemingly without purpose. The sun rises late and sets early. Friendships become distant and the way is solitary. It is here fellow sojourner where hope becomes the anchor of our heart. This hope does not rely on external things, for the visible betrays the truth and the feelings within offer no encouragement. It is here where we need to be reminded “that (He) is able to do…” His word is not only shrouded in promises but He Himself is the promise. He is the One who accomplishes His Word in and through the context of our journey.
Not at some distant future moment in time but “now” brings our praise to Him in the moment; in the valley, in the heart ache of a circumstance, a loved one, or a broken relationship. Now is God’s Word to us that in the valley He is “doing” in us the very thing that He has promised. The length of the valley is shortened when we with faith and hope cling to Him who is invisible. Faith sees Him. It recognizes the unseen hand even in the face of our enemies and the hard things we must endure. Moses “endured” because he saw Him who is invisible. The enduring graces of faith, hope and love working within His own are in themselves the very fulfillment of His Word to us; to be people of substance in a world void of light and life.
“And now, Lord, what wait I for?
my hope is in thee”
The valleys bring us to new places of trust in Him. We are no longer looking for an event or some external hand of help. We are reduced to a hope centered upon God Himself. It is here that character and trust in God alone becomes woven into the very fabric of our lives.
“And I will give her…
the valley of Achor* for a door of hope”
Valleys are to become doors into new places of hope and glory. It is by walking through them (and not lingering) that they become to us a door instead of a dead end. May our feet keep moving and the fire of His love impel us to new places in Him.
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation:
for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life,
which the Lord hath promised
to them that love him”
*Note: Achor – עכר
The root-verb עכר (akar) means to stir up, disturb or trouble. HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament remarks that this verb “reflects the social dimension of an individual’s action”.
Jacob uses this verb to describe his position among the Canaanites when Simeon and Levi killed the men of Shechem after the rape of Dinah (Genesis 34:30).
After years of drought, king Ahab accused Elijah of being the troubler of Israel (1 Kings 18:17). King Solomon proclaimed that a cruel man brings trouble to his own flesh (Proverbs 11:17), and a man who brings trouble on his household inherits the wind (11:29).
This verb’s derivation עכור (akor) means trouble, but it occurs only as the name Achor. (Abiram Publications)