'Valley People,' Biblically Speaking
By: Deborah Kirby (Copyright 2011, All rights reserved. Reprint 2020)
In the 1980's, there sprung up a whole social iconic people group from the California San Fernando area. They were called “valley people.” They had their own appearance, aura, and speech... “Like, you know.”
So many in the youthful generation of the 1980's sought to pick up their language. From the west coast to the east coast, “valley air” gave speed to “valley fire” that burned across America at lighting pace.
How ironic it is that when valleys are spoken of in the Christian life the connotation is anything but esteemed, sought after, or desired to be mimicked. No, we attempt to run as fast as we can in a vain attempt to escape the valleys of life and anything having to do with them.
I recall from history and biology classes that valleys are the most fertile and sought after land by farmers. Fertility of the valley land comes from “deposition of new soil over a flood plain.”
No doubt people who have lived in a valley for a season, or who are currently living in a valley, know the power of God's floods to deposit “new soil” upon the valley's landscape. His grace, His power, His presence, and so much more rush in like a flood during our passage through the valleys of life.
Is it not true that so much of His very essence floods our life during the moments we most need Him, during stints in the valleys? And these divine floods leave behind new soil - fertile soil - that imparts to us the amazing ability to bring forth some of the richest “life fruit” possible if we are faithful to diligently keep planting, yes, even in the valley seasons of life!
Too many sit down in the valley seasons, giving way to depression or the lack of vision.
A valley by definition is “an elongate depression of the earth's surface usually between ranges of hills or mountains.”
I can already hear some of you shouting an “Amen!” to the words “an elongate depression.”
Let's face it; valleys are not known for their views or provision of vision, now are they?
Sight of the spiritual variety is often drastically impaired in the valleys of life. As if the mountains that surround our valley do not block our vision sufficiently, it does not take too long to discover that fog settles in the valley.
But I implore you not to let these facts cloud and blind you to the blessings found in the valleys. God's flooding presence, the new soil, the rich fruit that comes if we continue to sow are all blessings found in the valleys of life.
Nehemiah is a fascinating book chalked full of spiritual lessons for the careful reader. Chapter three gives a somewhat detailed account of who did what, including who completed and repaired certain gates and certain sections in the rebuild of Jerusalem's wall. Near the end of the third chapter, in verse twenty-two, there is a profound clause the quick reader will skim right over, but the careful reader will pause for deeper reflection and meditation. “After him the priests, the men of the valley, carried out repairs.” Wow! Did you catch that?
People of the valley know what life in the valley is all about as the days turn to weeks and the weeks often turn to months... and for some, to years. People of the valley are keenly equipped with a rich understanding of the “low places.” But don't miss this: “...priests, the men of the valley, carried out repairs.” Glory to God!
We know God uses the inter-connectivity of His people to bring compassion, understanding, strength, and much more to those who find themselves in the valleys of life. But often times we find the most value – the most wisdom – in priests from the valley. Why?
Because it is God's hope that His people will have embraced, learned, and sowed well during their valley season(s) so that they will then be able to help aid others sitting down, stuck, dismayed, or depressed in the valleys of life.
It is vital to others that we share:
our valley insights – the permanent, treasured insights we glean in the valleys of life when God rushes in like a flood; powerfully sustaining us as He deposits HIS grace, power, presence, and provision precisely when and how we need it most
the immeasurable value of new soil deposits that God leaves behind as He powerfully occupies the valleys of our life
the supernatural fruit that we are blessed to take with us as we are led from valley to valley and from mountain top to mountain top!
As a life traveler with Christ, I pray you remember this perspective the next time you find yourself in a valley.
Don't try to escape or avoid the valleys of life. If you are there and a child of the King, there is a divine purpose for your journey to the "low area." Embrace it and determine to learn while there.
I have found such a Godly perspective gives strength, hope, and purpose in the valley seasons of life and thereafter!
They are by far some of the richest seasons of life IF we embrace the vision God does grant to us while there, instead of focusing on what we cannot see!
May we be willing to embrace such seasons so that we, too, may be known as 'priests, a people of the valley, carrying out repairs!'