Have you ever been so familiar with a scripture or a saying; one that you have recited for years, only to later find out that you never truly understood it? That was me this past week. I’ve had this go-to ‘battle scripture’ that’s been through a lot with me. It’s been put to the test and passed many times. But all of a sudden, it hit me that I had been missing something all along…
For years I’d heard this scripture, but honestly, I didn’t fully understand what it meant. I knew that God was my strength in weakness, especially when I put my trust in him, but what did the rest of it mean?
As I recited Isaiah 40:31, I noticed that soar, run and walk are in order of a descending rate of speed. Soaring being the fastest, then running and lastly, walking… which is slow. Just as I made the correlation that the speed was decreasing, I could hear the Holy Spirit say, “It’s a cycle to renewed strength.”
Hearing that renewed strength is a cycle, peaked my interest. At the time, I felt like I had been running faster than ever before. I was eager to hear how this scripture applied to my situation, so I leaned in close to hear what God had to say about my next move.
No sooner than I postured myself to hear from God, the Holy Spirit said; “Now it’s time for you to walk”.
Hearing the word ‘walk’ made my heart sink. In recent years, God has allowed me to have a bird’s eye view, to see the plans that He has for me. As a result, I ran faster after my calling. I was motivated to pursue the path ahead. So it stood to reason that the thought of slowing down seemed contradictory.
My fear of losing perspective and momentum seemed to consume my mind. As I thought to myself “God please don’t make me walk”, I started to see why I was so apprehensive. Once I unveiled my heart to God, He led me to Psalm 23:4, which says:
My preference for running was rooted in a fear of having to walk through the darkest valley. I knew that God was preparing my heart for this phase of the journey, but I needed to know why. Why did he need me to walk? And why now?
All of my fears seemed to silence when The Holy Spirit answered. “It’s so that I can walk with you.”
As my fears began to melt away, I saw that God was inviting me into a closer walk with Him. This journey through the valley of darkness is designed to help me better see His light. It’s through the walking, that the promise of God’s renewed strength is produced.
Writing this post has been difficult because I normally share stories of victories won. Today, however, I’m writing you as I enter into the valley. I don’t know what the journey will fully entail, but I rest in knowing that God will be with me throughout it. I’m learning that the closer I get to the promise, the more I see that God is walking with me.
Friends, the slower the cycle becomes (from soaring to running, to walking) the closer you are to the promise. You may already be walking through the valley. Your progress may have slowed down to a crawl. For others, you may feel completely stagnant. Today God is inviting you into a closer walk with Him. Your renewed strength is found with each step that you take with Him.
Remember God’s promises which says:
- You will walk and not faint – Even though the journey through the valley may seem long God promises you, that you will not faint. Keep moving forward. He will provide you with the strength you need for each step. (Jeremiah 31:25 )
- God is with you in the valley – Recognize that you’re not alone. His desire is to walk with you. Therefore, allow God to draw you closer to Him so that His light will brighten the darkness around you. (Psalm 145:18)
- God’s rod and staff comfort you – God is protecting and comforting you as he guides you through the valley. Lean into God’s instruction so that you may grow on your journey.(Psalm 46:1)
For every mountain top, you strive to see, there is a valley waiting to be walked through. Remind yourself that the same God on the mountaintop will be walking with you through the valley.
The link below is a song that has inspired me recently on my journey. I pray that it encourages you as you continue learning to walk closely with God.
“Hold on don’t let go. Just take one step closer, put one foot in front of the other. You’ll get through this, just follow the light out of the darkness…you’re going to be okay.”- Jenn Johnson