We can all relate to how our prayers are heavy with the burdens of others and ourselves. For Mandisa, her prayers were for marriage, her brother’s salvation, her friend Kisha’s healing from breast cancer, and for all her ministry dreams to come true. She’s been learning a thing or two about timing…and surrender.
What happens when those prayers go unanswered? When we’re just stuck in the valley?
We tend to lose hope and push away everything and everyone. It’s our way of trying to “take control”. We aren’t happy, so we run as quickly as possible…looking for the other side.
Mandisa recently went through something just like that: “A few months ago I was in a pretty deep depression. I isolated myself and closed out all of my loved ones, including God. Eventually, I felt so hopeless and far away from my heavenly Father that I could see no way out of the self-imposed pit that I climbed into.” While Mandisa has walked through that valley and come out on the other side stronger than before, she says the song “One Step Away” by Casting Crowns is one you should listen to if you’re in your own valley right now.
We often pray that God would deliver us from our valley as soon as possible. But we have it all backwards. Our goal shouldn’t be to reach the other side as quickly as possible. The goal should be to turn to Jesus as he walks us through it. The more we realize that walking with Him is the greatest reward we can achieve, the less we sprint ahead, looking for the next sign of relief. Our relief is found directly next to us. The sooner we surrender to the journey God has us on and simply hold onto him, the sooner we have hope, love, and peace in our lives again.
“As we mature in the Lord, waiting becomes easier. It’s still difficult to wait, but the longer we know the Lord, the more we see his faithfulness in our lives and understand our waiting is for a reason. Sometimes God uses the waiting to work on our, or someone else’s, character. God often chooses waiting to conform us into the image of his wonderful Son” (Christianity Today).