A New Decade of Valleys

For a few years now I have basically put down my pen. Outside of writing weekly messages for City Church and a few other thoughts here or there, I have not had a lot to say publicly. Honestly I still don't. God has been teaching me to listen and absorb more than I speak. And in the process, I think God is helping me find my voice again. I am not sure. But I think.

I have been through a lot of life in the last decade. The 2010s included both my lowest moments of life and also many of my most favorite memories. God has generated life from death, beauty from ashes, redemption from brokenness.

And that is kind of how life works: the good, the bad, and the ugly tend to manifest themselves for seasons of time ... each season gradually teaching, shaping, and transforming us.

Most of my lowest moments in life have been self-induced. That is not always the case. Some valleys are the direct consequence of the brokenness of the world we traverse. No explanation provided. Other times we are dragged involuntarily through valleys created by other fallen rebels whose choices now mark our story.

What life guarantees is at some point you will walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Self-induced. Broken-world initiated. Fallen creatures caused. Valleys. And we walk these valleys for different seasons of time: days, weeks, years, or even decades. No expiration dates offered.

And yet it is in these valleys the Good Shepherd is doing His most sustaining work. At times pursuing. At times leading. And always with us.

As I reflect on the last decade what stands out to me is the constant and steady work of the Father. He never left. He never forsook. He never stopped loving and pursuing and restoring and guiding and simply putting things back together. He never stopped being who He is - a good & gracious King.

I do not know what the 2020s have in store. I do know they will include valleys - seasons God will use for His glory and for our good. I have no idea if I will have much to "say" in 2020 and beyond but I do know He continues to write a redemptive story that is worth sharing.

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