Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Peace in the Darkest Valley

 By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy of: Steven Lasry

"Even when I go through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for you are with me;"

~Psalm 23:4a

I've shared here a time or two before that 2021 was a deployment year for our family (and, actually, as I write these words we are so close now to my husband finally coming home!). As you can imagine, a deployment is a dark and heavy season. Though I wouldn't necessarily categorize it as the darkest valley anyone could ever walk through, it has certainly been one of the darkest valleys I've walked through personally. 

In addition to my husband physically not being here (which is hard enough!), we have also walked in this deployment season through:

-My kids and I finally catching Covid

-The Kabul airport situation in Afghanistan (that kind of news report is extra scary when your husband is deployed!)

-Car trouble

-My great-grandma passing away

-Kids' birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas apart

-A hawk in our chicken coop (thankfully, all 5 chickens were ok, just traumatized!)

-Daily fears for my husband's safety

-Really difficult political issues which made this deployment incredibly hard for my husband at times (trying to comfort your husband from 5,000 miles away is gut-wrenching!)

-And more

What is amazing, though, is that - in the midst of all of this! - I was able to go on my Instagram account a few weeks ago and honestly say that I am thankful for this deployment (a deployment, I might add, that I kicked and screamed against so hard leading up to it!). That makes no human sense, but it is true.

In the months leading up to my husband's departure, a dear friend of mine told me that I would come out on the other side of the deployment knowing God better than I did at the beginning. And you know what? She was so right! 

I have seen and experienced the character of God during this deployment like never before! I have seen firsthand His tenderness, His care, His compassion, His love, His sovereignty, His power, and His wisdom like never before. And that is a gift and a blessing worth all the hardship in this world. Because if you can know and experience the character of God, you can then trust God, and that will serve you well throughout all the days of your life.

It is because of this deployment experience that I -perhaps for the first time- can truly grasp and understand how the psalmist can say in Psalm 23 what he says here in verse 4 - "Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me." 

Notice it doesn't say "even if" -it instead says "even when", because we do live in a fallen world and we will face dark valleys from time to time. But if you know the character of God, you can trust Him and rest in Him and be comforted by Him. This is precisely how you can then say that even when you go through the darkest valley, you will fear no danger. Why? Because God is with you, and you know that means something. You know that changes things. You know the power and comfort of that reality.

Friend, I don't know what dark valley you may be walking through right now. But I do know that it is possible to so know God and so trust Him and rest in Him, that you are able to find peace even in the darkest valley. And that is my prayer for you today and every day. 

1 comment:

  1. Rebekah, thank you for sharing. Oh you have faced so much this past year. It would have been hard with your husband there, but to have him gone, mercy. I am thankful for you. The dark seasons are so hard. Trusting in Him is the only way to survive. ♥


Thank you for stopping by, we love hearing from you. Please feel free to contact us with any prayer requests or questions by commenting below or emailing us at the About Us page.