Whenever my daughter gets into trouble, with tears streaming down her face, gasping for her next breath, she will ask for a hug.
The question is: why does her heart long for us most visibly when it is broken?
Perhaps, it is in the crevices of this brokenness that the good news of daddy’s affection for her is realized? Could it be that in this brokenness the good news of mommy’s admiration for her is remembered. Maybe, this is the moment when she suddenly recalls the good news told to her regarding our commitment to love her, forgive her, and support her as best we can no matter what.
It seems like some stuff takes root here in these valleys.
And I can relate.
I too become more keenly aware of my need for some good news in the valleys I face.
How about you?
Think about the last time you were in trouble—a valley that was dark and hard. Think about how much you longed to be hugged: reassured that you are still loved, reminded that you are still accepted, and resolute in the idea that you are still valuable.
We too tend to be open to or receptive of good news when our hearts are broken.
Consider the Israelites as they stood just steps away from entering into the promised land. This land was called “a good land” (Deut 8:7a). Interestingly, it was also said of this land that it flowed “ . . . in both hills and valleys” (Deut 8:7b). These valleys were filled with springs, brooks, and rivers which led to fertile soil and endless resources.
And so it is with the valleys in which we find ourselves!
Our valleys are dark and hard. AND . . ., according to scripture, valleys are an essential part of “a good land.” Valleys are filled with springs of scripture’s truth, brooks of blessings, and rivers flowing with reminders of His promises to always provide. It is through the valleys in our lives that we can become mindful of, supported with . . . hugged by God’s fertile soil of endless resources.
Keep in mind, my daughter can need a hug, yet choose isolation. She can yearn for a hug, yet choose rebellion. She can remember just how great a hug felt in the past, yet choose bitterness.
Valleys can take us there, right?
Valleys can also take us to a place where, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we remember that just as hills have their perks, valleys have their purpose. We can experience the growth that valley-induced broken-heartedness offers. Even with the pain, the embarrassment, the remorse, anger, shame, and regret, we can embrace the Good News rooted in us.
When life gets dark and hard, hear the flow of provisions gushing through the crevices of your valley as you muster up enough faith to ask for a hug. We will receive it indeed! The hug: the reassurance that we are still loved, the reminder that we are still accepted, and the resolve that we are still valuable.