Situated within the Mojave Desert in eastern California is the lowest, driest, and hottest location in North America.
On July 10, 1913, the highest reported temperature in the Western Hemisphere, 134 degrees Fahrenheit, was reported at Furnace Creek in Death Valley—a reading two degrees short of the world record. With a basin that is 282 feet below sea level and is walled by steep mountain ranges, the dry air and sparse plant cover allow the sun to heat the surface to unbearable temperatures. Annual precipitation averages only 2.36 inches.
Life’s valleys can be just as hot and dry. I’ve walked through a few I don’t care to repeat. My emotions were scorched and my physical energy drained.
David was familiar with valley walking. He led his sheep through valleys frequented by robbers and wild animals, but he didn’t fear because his shepherd protected him. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4 KJV).
We all periodically walk through valleys. Our world groans under the curse of sin which brings damaging effects on people as well as the natural order. People do despicable things and nature acts in devastating ways. Others can put us in the valley, or we can do it ourselves through disobedience and bad decisions. Valleys are painful, but they don’t last forever. At some point—either through confession or the natural progression of events—we walk out and up to the mountaintop.
Valley walking is more easily endured by remembering God walks with us through them. We have no reason to fear. He’ll protect and comfort us no matter how dark, hot, or long the valley.
Put your trust in God when you’re in the valleys. Drink from his Word, trust his Spirit’s guidance, and lean on good friends.