The Way is good, but long and difficult. At times it’s not possible to see the path through all the brush blocking our view. It’s necessary to chop away at the overgrowth to be able to move forward. It’s a hard path, but it’s not like you weren’t warned. He told you:
But the gate is narrow and the way is difficult that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
You’ve been through the small gate and now you’re on the path, following The Way that leads to life. You’ve had a rough road, but thankfully, some smooth spots were given.
As you’ve walked The Way, you have learned to listen to The Voice. It’s almost a whisper, faintly heard at times, but you’ve learned to be keenly aware whenever He speaks, not letting other noises drown Him out. (When that has happened, the path can become treacherous, indeed.)
Seeing the beautiful valley stretched out beyond, you knew it wouldn’t all be peaceful. The times on the mountaintops were inspirational, but each time you’ve come down into a valley you’ve understood, that time of inspiration was also a time for strengthening. For the valleys you’ve tread have not been easy. But you know to walk the trail He has blazed.
There are times in the valley when you come upon a plateau. You didn’t realize you were traveling upward, just walking the path as it led, feeling a bit stronger. Then, all of the sudden, the ground drops off once more.
You are standing before a precipice of suffering you never imagined could get deeper. A valley within the valley. But, you must walk through it. The Way does not lead around. The path leads straight down. You find you’re tumbling into darkness.
The Voice whispers, “Even the darkness is not dark to Me.” So you walk through the darkness, not really seeing His light, hoping your foot hasn’t slipped from the worthy path. Pushing through the briars when you’ve strayed. Stumbling back, scraped, bruised, beaten by the path…but finding The Way…His Way…once again.
I desire to walk worthy. But I have stumbled in this valley within the valley.
He’s here, I know He is. It’s just a bit too dark to see right now.
But I will trust in His steadfast love, pressing forward, believing in His grace to endure the test…
…it’s the only way to be proven genuine.
When we have impurities, He refines us through the fires. The trials and tests of life — the fires — have made us more pure. But…
…He will keep it up until He sees His reflection in us.
Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ~Romans 5:1-5