I saw this meme the other day joking about the fact that the person was tired of living through major historical events. I couldn’t help but laugh because it’s true. Some days are definitely more exhausting than others.
The main reason why we are tired is that many of us have grown accustomed to viewing change from a negative perspective. We want things to stay the same because we’re comfortable. Now, I’m not completely oblivious to the fact that some changes are more difficult to bear than others. Especially, if those changes were abruptly brought on by the poor decisions of others in our family or even in our government (Dan 2:21 22).
Regardless, the result is the same. You’re stuck wandering for days, months, or even years. The same applies when we are in a valley in life. We spend most of our time walking for miles and miles without seeing a path that will take us to the mountain top. Before I go further, let me explain what I mean when I say the phrase valleys of life. Valleys of life are what I refer to as low points in our lives. Valleys are problems that make us feel that we’re carrying the whole world on our shoulders. These are times in our lives when nothing seems to be going right.
Of course, we will gladly accept a change from all the drama that happens in the valley of our lives. What we fail to realize is that all forms of change are necessary. Progress requires change (Ps 139:23-24). In order to conquer another mountain top, we must go through a valley. Now, how long we linger in a valley is due to our obedience to Christ.
Change is all about our perspective. Not all changes are negative. Therefore, we should not fear change. Provided we stay aligned with Christ, our change is an adventure given to us by God. It’s just another adventure that prepares us for another mountain top to conquer. If the Israelites viewed change from this perspective, they wouldn’t have spent 40 years in the desert.
God had great plans for the Israelites. He heard their cries. He wanted to answer their prayers and deliver them from being slaves. God wanted to lead them to Canaan, the land of milk and honey also referred to as the Promised Land (Exodus 13: 11). In Exodus, God helped the Israelites escape from slavery. God knew they were scared and went out of His way to show the Israelites they could trust Him.
They didn’t have GPS back then. By day God led them using a cloud and at night God used a pillar of fire. (Ex 13: 21).
The Israelites literally saw God part the Red Sea (Ex 14: 29). Seeing that alone would have been enough for me, but God kept going. God turned bitter water into water fit to drink (Ex 15: 25) and fed them manna and quail (Ex 16) until they got to the border of Canaan. Again, the Lord was giving them a variety of signs demonstrating He was with them so the Israelites could embrace the changes in their lives.
God literally brought them right at the border of Canaan. God told Moses to send some men from each tribe to explore the land he was giving to the Israelites (Numbers 13:1). The men explored the land that God said was theirs for 40 days. They returned back to where their camp was located so they could give the Israelites a report on what they thought of the land.
Caleb and Jacob said that they should finish their journey and take the land. Unfortunately, those two were outnumbered. The rest of the men who were on the exploration said that “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” (Numbers 13:31) Joshua and Caleb begged the Israelites to ignore what those men told them and tried to convince the Israelites they could win the battle. After all, if the Lord is for you, who can be against you?
Unfortunately, instead of listening to Caleb and Jacob, the Israelites listened to the other idiots who didn’t want to take the land God already claimed was theirs. They allowed fear to control their thinking. These fools actually wanted to go back to being slaves in Egypt again! God was with the Israelites throughout their entire journey through their valley, yet the Israelites were too fearful to go get their present—Canann the Promised Land God wanted to give them. Due to their disobedience, they spent 40 years unnecessarily wandering in the desert until all of the men who said they couldn’t win the battle against the inhabitants in Canaan died in the wilderness (Numbers 14:22).
Despite ALL of the miracles God showed the Israelites, protecting them from their enemies and safely leading them to the border of the Promised Land, the Israelites still didn’t have enough faith to recognize that with God all things are possible. The Israelites unnecessarily lengthened their stay in the valley because the Israelites viewed change from their limited perspective. Had they fully trusted God, they would have seen the changes they were encountering were good (Jer 17:7). With this being said, this does not mean we won’t go through some valleys in life while climbing to the mountain top.
Unlike the other Israelites, Joshua and Caleb embraced change. They had the correct perspective because they totally trusted God. Their behavior confirms change is NOT the problem. The problem is our lack of trust. Many of us say we trust God, but our actions prove otherwise.
God answered the Israelites’ prayers to help them achieve physical freedom, but they were still operating with a slave mentality. They didn’t trust God. The Israelites allowed fear to dictate their decision-making process. When you fail to reign in fear, it will cause chaos in your life.
You can’t make good decisions when you live in fear. This is why in 2 Tim 1:7 God commands us not to have the spirit of fear. Oftentimes, our fears stem from being afraid of what people think or the harm we think they can do to us. However, we need to be mindful of the fact if God is for us, who can be against us (Rom 8:31).
Sure the folks living in Canaan were tall and strong, but they still were no match for God. God loves working with underdogs. It’s an opportunity for Him to showcase His strength while providing us with the opportunity to trust Him. Now, there will be growing pains when you’re in a valley, but if you make a conscientious effort to fight through the fear and view change from its proper perspective you will reduce how much time you need to spend in the valley.
God is a loving parent. He wants to make sure we apply all the lessons we learn in the valley so we can handle the blessings He wants to give us. Your impact on the world will bring the most glory to God if you properly apply the lessons you have learned.
I’ve been through my fair share of valleys. I’m actually going through a valley right now. Now, I’m nowhere near where I was 4 years ago, but it’s definitely still a valley. I know I’ve grown a lot because I guarantee the folks that know me would be shocked if they knew the nonsense that I’ve been dealing with for almost a year. I’m bringing my A-game at work with a smile, I always make time to help out my friends and those in need, and quite frankly looking at me you would think I don’t have a single problem in the world.
Yet, here I am in a valley. Last year, in fact, tomorrow (I’m recording this on Mar 29th) will make exactly one year since I bought a beautiful condo on the lakefront. Without getting into too much detail, I immediately discovered there are defects in my condo, I have a crazy neighbor, and my condo board is run by incompetent, corrupt idiots. I tried really hard to resolve my issues with these people, but quickly realized you can’t reason with crazy people, so I had to sue them. So yeah, I’ve been in and out of court for the past year in an attempt to be compensated for their deceitful and reckless behavior.
I knew what these people were doing wasn’t right or legal; yet, I was so scared to take them to court. I remember sitting in the living room talking to my mom on the verge of tears questioning why God would bring me this far just to let me down.
Instead of allowing me to wallow in self-pity, my mom yelled at me-LOL She said, “Tosha no matter where you go you’re going to have to fight in this world. Would you rather be fighting over a place you rent or one that you own? This is worth fighting for! God wouldn’t bring you this far to let you down. God’s going to cause their actions to work out for your good if you stay in faith. So what do you want to do? Give in and let them walk all over you or fight? Just remember if you choose to fight, when you hit, you got to hit hard, so they think twice about messing with you again.”
Real talk, when I went to my mom I was hoping she could just console me, comfort me, but I should have known better. I’m not just saying this because she’s my mom, but I truly wish I had just an ounce of her courage and wisdom because she always knows what to do and say. She’s the ultimate leader. She knows exactly how to motivate people so they live up to their potential. At that moment, she knew I didn’t need a hug. I needed her to ignite the fire in me that would want to fight back against the injustice that was happening to me instead of hoping it would disappear. My mom wanted me to see that I had choices. I didn’t have to put up with their abuse.
I remember as plain as day hesitating before responding back to my mom. I knew she was right. I knew suing these idiots was the only way I was going to get my money back and the peace and quiet I deserved. Yet, I couldn’t help but feel scared. I felt like David going up against Goliath. I felt so small because there were more of them and it was just me.
What if I make them angrier and they retaliate even worse than what they are doing now? What if I lose? What if this happens? What if that happens? Being a worrywart is something I’ve struggled with for my entire life, so my what-if game is strong, but there was something inside of me that knew she was right.
If I hadn’t allowed fear to get in the way, I would have immediately remembered me even being in a position to buy a home was a miracle in and of itself. Again, I don’t come from a wealthy family.
There’s no way in the world, I would ever have been in a position to have been able to pay rent, my student loans, and save for a home. Not having to pay student loans when COVID arrived on the scene and that one major voiceover gig placed me in a position to buy this condo. God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33, Heb 13:8). If God brought me this far, He wasn’t going to let me down. Unlike the Israelites I looked back on ALL the obstacles I endured in my valleys and saw how God guided me through them all.
Despite my fears, I decided to sue these idiots. I decided to fight back so I could go to sleep at night knowing that my dignity was intact. I didn’t want to live with the frustration and shame I knew I would feel if I didn’t stand up for myself. I have to admit I was scared when I filed the lawsuit but also relieved because I knew I did the right thing.
With that being said, God has definitely been teaching me patience. It has been extremely frustrating to see these people lie and abuse the court system by using a variety of stall tactics. Do you know how hard it is to read a bunch of lies and act like nothing is wrong?
It’s draining, but I quickly remind myself how blessed I am to have my mom. My mom has been my rock throughout this entire ordeal. She is the ONLY reason why I’m going to win my lawsuit. She always provides me with wise counsel. When I go left, she always reminds me to focus on Christ and not my circumstances (1 Thes 5:18). If all you see is what you see then you’re not seeing all there is to be seen. Christ does His best work in silence and His timing is perfect.
My mom is constantly speaking life into my soul. She always seems to have the perfect verses to share with me at the exact time I need to hear them. When start feeling like Goliath is going to overpower me, my mom would share verses like Rom 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us? “ (Rom 8:31) or Ecc 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
I’m big on journaling. Based on my mood, I have the ability to go directly to the verses I can use to counteract the negativity I may be experiencing at that point in time. Bible verses such as these help fill our hearts, soul, and mind with a positive outlook. When you read, meditate and apply verses such as these to your life, you can’t help but feel inspired and motivated to take action. You start to view life from a glass half full perspective.
Satan can try to hold you hostage but he can’t hold you back nor can he implant his lies into our thought life without you giving him permission to do so. I have been devoting more time to reading the Bible, books, and podcasts that uplift and motivate me to keep going. I am determined not to allow my circumstances to dictate my mood. Like my mom always said, “ You have got to fight to be happy in this world.” I always thought that was such an odd statement, but as an adult I get it. There will always be circumstances and people seeking to bring you down, but you hold the key as to whether they will succeed. I am determined not to allow these demons to steal my joy.
These demons I’m suing are very deceitful. They thought they had gotten away with their scheme because they completely sucker-punched me. I never in a million years would have thought I would be in this situation because I did everything right. Yet, here we are. At the beginning of this lawsuit, I was so angry with myself. I felt like a fool because I fell into their trap. However, this could not be furthest from the truth. Just because someone tricks you doesn’t mean you’re a fool. You just got blindsided. A fool is someone who doesn’t fight back.
I’m so glad I decided to defend myself. I can see how God is using this lawsuit to bless me in a variety of ways, spiritually, mentally, and when the time is right financially. I can’t wait until this is all over because I’m definitely going to do an episode about this in order to help others avoid being in my situation. Again, I’m all about helping people.
As frustrating as it is to be in this situation, I wouldn’t change a thing. God is teaching me so much right now. In fact, if I had not been in this situation, I wouldn’t be as motivated to pursue the business my mom and I want to launch.
When I look back on my life, most of the changes that occurred have been positive. After I conquer my challenges, I can look down from my mountaintop and see all the obstacles I endured. This is such a satisfying feeling.
I know we all, myself included hate going through valleys. However, valleys are just as important as making it to the mountain top. God uses this “downtime” as an opportunity to teach us lessons in life that will prepare us for our blessings. If our time in the valley is spent obtaining Christ’s attributes, patience, love, peace, the list goes on, then our obstacles were necessary and worth the struggle.
Once we ascend to the mountain top we have the privilege of looking down on our valleys. We will be able to clearly see and understand why God told us to take a certain path in life. Looking down at my valleys, I can clearly see the unnecessary harm or delays I would have caused myself had I disobeyed God’s word.
God will always leverage our situations–good and bad– to teach us lessons He knows we need to learn in order to live an extraordinary life.
My valleys taught me to deepen my relationship with Christ by trusting Him. I know that I can do all things through Christ. I look forward to the day when I emerge from this valley. There’s no greater feeling in the world than conquering your problems with God.
Standing on the mountaintop with the ability to see how far you’ve come with the opportunity to celebrate your victory with God is worth all the blood, sweat, and tears to see these breathtaking views.