Mountains. How wonderful it is to stand on or be past the mountain!

When we stand on or move past the mountain it is significant because we have overcome. We have escaped the valley and we are on the mountain top, where we believe the Lord provides and speaks so clearly to us. Or we arrive on the other side, where we believe that the Lord has provided and carried us through.

Oftentimes, the mountains we face are illness, suffering, loneliness, stress, workload, and even the orphan crisis. So it’s no wonder we enjoy being on the mountain top and on the other side—or would like to see the mountain moved all together.

But what comes before the mountain is the valley and the desert. A place that seems to be full of darkness and dryness. A place that seems to be of longing and unanswered prayers.

The valleys and the deserts are often where we ask the questions beginning with “why’s” and “where’s.” “Why won’t you heal this illness?” “Why won’t You change this situation?” “Where were You when this happened?”

The thing about these questions isn’t that they’re coming from a place that lacks faith. But they come from a place that knows God’s ability and power.

Our God moves mountains. Our God sends fire from Heaven. Our God raises dry bones to life and beats death in three days. Our God can do the impossible and we know this.

Often times, because I know God’s power I become frustrated when I seem to be spending more time in the valley and deserts. I become frustrated because I know that God can heal any illness and end any suffering.

But it’s in the valley that I realize, when I pause to look around me, I’m in the valley where the bones have been raised to life. I look around and see that I am sitting in a community of broken people, but we are all together in this, and this valley is sacred.

It’s in the valley where God shows His heart for us. It’s in the valley where we realize we are never alone. It’s in the valley where we begin to see life start to reform.

It’s in the valley that we are able to sit with orphans and share God’s love with them. That we can sit next to the children and tell them we understand their questions and are hurting with them. In that valley, we are together and not alone. In that valley, we understand being in God’s family.

In the valley, God invites us to come and see his heart.

If we never spent time in the valley, would we ever realize the sacredness of it? Would we realize that we’re not the only ones who are hurting? Would we see that God is showing the compassion and grace of His heart in these seasons?

Yes, our God can and does the impossible. But part of doing the impossible is allowing us to slowly learn His heart. If God always carries us through or allowed us to overcome on our time, would we be able to understand the grace and compassion that is needed in the seasons of valleys and deserts?

There is a song called Trust In You by Lauren Daigel that states:
“When You don’t move the mountains,
I’m asking You to move.
When You don’t part the waters,
I wish I could walk through.
When You don’t give the answers,
As I cry out to You.
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You.”

These words are powerful. But they show that when we trust that there is a reason that our mountain is moved, our waters are still wavy, and we don’t have the answers; we can trust that God has something for us here in the valley. And perhaps that’s learning more of His heart.

As you pray for orphans throughout April, please pray specifically for:

Orphans who spend much of their lives in the valleys, wondering why their lives have held so much devastation. Request that God move His church to care for them in ways that glorify Him.

The team from Taylor University which is flying home from Russia today. Ask God to give them safety, but also to emblazon on their hearts all they have seen and experienced while ministering to orphans. Pray they’d forever carry the needs of orphans with them in prayer and action.

The Race for an Orphan 5K on April 21st. Ask God for a great turn out of folks who want to participate and for them to learn something new about the orphans we serve. While you’re at it, you could request great weather!

The short-term ministry team leaving for India on the 27th. Pray for safety as they travel, health while they serve, and effectiveness in ministry. Pray, too, that God’s will would be evident as they meet with a potential new partner home.

In what ways has God met you in the valley?

Doing small things with great love,

Taylor Pennycuff