The valley can be a lonely place, but there is hope in the valley. The valley can be beautiful if you look for it, but it is not a place to stay.
She could not stay there anymore because nothing was left to hold on to. The grief, shame, anxiety, guilt, and depression were gone, and she could not stay there anymore because God had taken them away.
I’ve wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember. So, when I got married, I wanted to start a family. But the dream was lost when I had my first miscarriage. I felt broken, lost, and depressed. I made a place in the darkness, and I lost hope of ever being a mother.
The darkness overcame me again when I faced a second miscarriage. I said, “God, I just want one baby. Just once, I want to hear a heartbeat on the ultrasound. While others choose abortion, all I want is one healthy baby!” In my brokenness, depression, and bitterness, my prayers were silent. I was not mad at God; I didn’t understand what He was trying to show me. (Read I Samuel 1:10)
One day I realized I could not stay in my brokenness, depression, and bitterness anymore. I asked God to forgive me, and I decided to focus only on God, my marriage, ministry, and health. Then something wonderful happened! In November, my husband and I visited my brother and his family for Thanksgiving. While we were there, I woke up one morning not feeling well. I thought it was the flu, but my sickness persisted. I decided to take a pregnancy test. It was positive! I was happy, but fear from the previous miscarriages was fresh in my mind. After two failed pregnancies, I was worried this one would also end in loss.
My husband and I decided to consult with our doctor. Blood tests came back normal, and the pregnancy was confirmed, but my doctor wanted to do an ultrasound. I was again worried that we would receive the same bad news as before: no heartbeat. However, God planned a surprise for us. The doctor heard two heartbeats! We were in shock. We were having twins!
God saw my brokenness and was listening to my prayers. While I was in the darkness, He said to me, “Child, you cannot stay there anymore” (Read 1 Samuel 1:27, Genesis 30:23).
We cannot stay in the darkness because it will stop our growth and hinder God’s purpose for us.
We cannot stay in grief and bitterness. We cannot stay in our sadness. We cannot stay in our shame. We cannot stay in our sin. We cannot stay in our depression. We cannot stay in our rejection, barrenness, and loneliness. God says, “Child, you cannot stay there anymore.”
- Naomi could not stay in her grief and bitterness because God had something good for her (Ruth 1:20-21).
- Ruth could not stay in her sadness because God was would restore the dreams that were lost when her husband died (Ruth 1:5).
- Rahab could not stay in her shame of prostitution because God would give her a new future (Joshua 2:11-14).
- Mary Magdalene could not stay in bondage to sin because God would give her a new life (Luke 8:2, Mark 16:9).
- Esther could not stay comfortable being in the king’s palace while her people faced genocide because God would use her to redeem her people from death (Esther 3:13-14, 4:14).
- Hagar could not stay downcast because God would make her son great just like he did for Abraham’s son, Isaac (Genesis 21:14-21).
- Leah could not stay in her feelings of rejection because God was going to use her to bring forth some of the tribes of Israel (Genesis 29:31-35).
- Hannah could not stay in her season of barrenness because God would give her a son through her faithfulness (1 Samuel 5-6, 20).
- Elizabeth could not stay in her loneliness because God would give her a son that would pave the way for the King of Glory—Jesus Christ (Luke 1:7).
- Mary could not stay in her childhood because God was giving her a great calling to be the woman that would give birth to the Savior of the world (Luke 1:38).
- The woman with the issue of blood could not stay bound in her infirmities, and the woman with the sick child could not stay in her pain.
These women struggled with life’s circumstances as we do, but God showed them they could not stay in their circumstances. God had better plans for them!
So, the next time you find yourself in a season of grief, barrenness, shame, loss, or battle, remember that you cannot stay there! Jesus Christ already finished the work at Calvary to bring you out. He has already overcome what we face now or in the future. God is and will always be fighting for us. Come out of the darkness; you can’t stay there! The God of all comfort gives us beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, and peace for despair.
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3).