I have a new understanding of why people either don’t change at all or start to change and then just give up and eventually resort back to their old negative and destructive way of life. The more you seek His righteousness and His purpose for your life you’ll discover that what you thought was “ugly” in your life is really “hideous”. If you think your current life is hard, painful, and or unbearable wait until you walk through the valley to get to the other side.
You see if we truly want to change, if we truly want to live of life in His glory then we have to remove and get rid of all the yuck we have collected over the years and then we take on His word, His righteousness, and His ways and we will LIVE in Christ. I don’t know about you, but I am starving to live an exceedingly extraordinary life in Christ and it is proving to be far more challenging and painful to achieve than I ever could have expected.
It is quite easy to say to yourself that you will work hard and change, but it is a whole another thing to actually do it! In order to REMOVE all your yuck you have to get real, I mean really real, and you have to walk through every last bit of it.
Of all things it reminds me of a stained carpet. If you have carpet and a lot of kids you’ll understand. Poop, pee, juice, and puke it has all fallen on my carpet at some time or another. So, I clean it with Lysol or bleach and pat it dry, but no matter how much I try to clean it by covering it up with chemicals, deep down in some layer the yuck still remains and eventually it will surface. Our life is the same way if you don’t remove the yuck by seeing it, walking through it, & letting it go then deep down it will wait for the right moment to reappear and devastate you. You want to get rid of the stain? Then tear out the carpet, throw it away, clean the subfloor, and then replace it with a surface impermeable to this yuck. I now have either tile or laminate flooring throughout my entire house and ya know what? When something gets on them I actually am able to clean it up and its gone, nothing sinks in.
If we are willing to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with every despicable ugly in our lives then He will be waiting for us on the other side. And if we take up His word and His ways then even though the spills will come they will not permeate us and we will actually be able to clean them up quickly and efficiently until the next spill comes.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me;Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.Your prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil;my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Walking through your valley can be terrifying, excruciatingly painful, lonely, dark, and seemingly never ending, but I know His promises to be true and if you walk through it in its entirety, your beautiful banquet table awaits you. Can’t you just see Him waiting there for you and saying, “I have been expecting you and the food is still warm.” He is so worth it! You’ll get His love, His goodness, and the privilege of dwelling in His house for eternity. I can confidently await my feast even in the midst of walking through my valley.