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Committed Sustained Informed - Intercession
A New Season
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"A New Season"

"Relationship" (Relational Love: part 10)

          "Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side" (Psalm 23:4). The "dark valley days"and seasons in my life are also within the scope of God's providential plan for my life. Often the greatest relational growth takes place in life when I am most acutely aware of my needing Him, and most acutely aware of my mortality. I come to know Jesus most intimately when I experience his closeness, his promises, and his "victory in the valley". In the "valley of weakness" deep faith formation takes place:"Let the weak man say, "I am a warrior!" (Joel 4:10); "For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Cr.12:10):

"But, it was in the night, through the storms of my life, Oh, that's where God proved His love for me" (Ray Boltz, "The Anchor Holds" lyrics: Warner/Chappell music, Inc.).

This "dark valley formation" is about 'passing over' from the illusion of my life being my own, to the truth of my belonging to God completely. It is about passing over into the Father's Hands: "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46).

          In the "valley of vulnerability" Jesus stands by me as the One who has already passed through "the valley" of his unique paschal night of death into the radiance of the resurrection: "Night is the time when the history of salvation is achieved in a unique fashion" (Dictionary of Biblical Theology, p. 390). We recognize this as having been the case during the deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians through the Red Sea. Even more so this is true of the one time offering of the Lamb on the cross: "From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon" (Mt. 27:45).

          During his public ministry which culminated in his paschal mystery Jesus 'drew the darkness to himself' in order to confront it head on, and to spare sinful humanity. Only the Lamb who is light can do this: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12). Now, Jesus desires to continue to live the mystery of his paschal passage from death to life, through darkness to light, from within my own humanity.

          Through my dark valley experiences I learn to stand in the truth that he is near me at all times; hence, I learn how to walk in faith rather than in fear: "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom do I fear? The LORD  is my life's refuge; of whom am I afraid?" (Psalm 27:1). Through my dark valley formation I learn both an essential empathy and an indispensable identification with hurting humanity--with those who walk through their own "valley of mortal anguish". I learn to intercede for them as one who understands: As one who walks with them as 'one of their own'. In union with the Lamb I learn how to cry out to the Father on behalf of others: "Out of the depths I call to you, Lord; Lord, hear my cry! May your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy" (Psalm 130:1-2). 

Questions:

1)   Can I recall a 'dark valley' experience in my life, and how I experienced the Lord's presence in it?

2)   Am I growing in my 'heart empathy' towards troubled-hurting humanity?

Scriptures:

Any scripture from the text; Ex. 14:13; Psalm 139:12; Is. 43:1-2, 4; 1 John 1:5

"TWO-ZERO-ONE-EIGHT, TIME TO EXPIATE"

PLEASE VISIT "THIS WEEK'S BURNING ISSUES" ON THE "EVENTS" PAGE

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