The Valley of Humiliation

It occurs to me that I actually have blogs in three different places on the internet and it”s time to clean house and consolidate.  I”m going to repost a few old blogs from the days before I had my own website because, well frankly, I don”t know how to consolidate any other way.  I”m not so much a technical wiz.  HA!

The following piece by Oswald Chambers was sent to me during a particularly rough time while I was living in New York. It made such a deep impression on me that I still carry the words with me and have incorporated the concept of being “battered into the shape of a vessel God can use” into my “Embraced by God” ministry presentation. In my imagination, Chambers’ words evoke the image of a piece of metal heated by a fire and then literally beaten into the shape of a water pitcher – a usable vessel- with which to serve others. We’ve all heard it a million times: you grow the most during life’s difficulties. So it has been with my life and I would bet your life as well. The heartaches, difficulties, frustrations, losses, and disappointments we all experience and recover from are the forging instruments God uses to shape who we are.  Something that has helped me get through the really rough times is remembering that pain doesn”t last forever and statements like “it won”t always feel this way”  have been very comforting to me during the really hard times. Mr. Chambers thoughts are below:

“We always have visions, before a thing is made real. When we realize that although the vision is real, it is not real in us, then is the time that Satan comes in with his temptations, and we are apt to say it is no use to go on. Instead of the vision becoming real, there has come the valley of humiliation.

“Life is not as idle ore,
but iron dug from central gloom
and battered by the shocks of doom
to shape and use.”

God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give up. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience. Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry. We are always in such a frantic hurry. In the light of the glory of the vision we go forth to do things, but the vision is not real in us yet; and God has to take us into the valley, and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the place where He can trust us with the veritable reality. Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand and try to batter ourselves into our own shape.

The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be. Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision. Don’t lose heart in the process. If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.”

Oswald Chambers