Christiana, her sons, and Mercy, are being conducted by Mr. Great-heart through the Valley of the shadow of Death.
Christiana’s son, Samuel, makes a wonderful observation. He says, “It is not so bad to go through here, as it is to abide here always; and for ought I know, one reason why we must go this way to the House prepared for us is that our home might be made the sweeter to us.”
He continues, “Why, if ever I get out here again, I think I shall prize light and good way, better than ever I did in all my life.”
If our life were to be always carefree, think of all the blessings we would miss. I think there would be little satisfaction in things that come too easily.
Do you remember the first time you made a big purchase with money you had saved? I do. In high school I began working the summer before my senior year. I was able to buy myself a ten-speed bike. Later, I saved up for a bit and purchased my first stereo. Yes, with an awesome 8-track player included. I took great care with them both. They were acquired with my hard-earned money. Now, I would have enjoyed them if they had been gifts, but they were much sweeter to me because of the toil put into buying them.
The hard times in my life have drawn me closer to the Lord. It may not have always been clear to me at first; I wasn’t always happy in the valleys. But, when I came out on the other side, I was able to rejoice.
About 13 years ago, three of the kids were on vacation with my husband and me. We had been hiking through a heavily forested area on a foggy morning. Unexpectedly, our trail opened out into a meadow where we were greeted by a lone cow. It was a gorgeous view, made all the sweeter by having emerged from the darkened woods. I think of that day often as I have a picture on my office wall to remind me of it.
I pray that the Lord would see fit to lead me into whatever valleys I need in order to fully enjoy the meadows He has for me.