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.
Martin Wiles is an author, pastor, English teacher, and freelance editor who resides in Greenwood, South Carolina. He is the founder and editor of the internationally recognized website, Love Lines from God (www.lovelinesfromgod.com). Wiles is the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions, the Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing, and Assistant Editor for Vinewords.net. He has also served as Web Content Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolina. Wiles has authored Don’t Just Live…Really Live (Ambassador International), A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes in a Noisy World (Ambassador International), Grits & Grace & God and Grits, Gumbo, and Going to Church (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), Morning By Morning, Morning Serenity, and Grace Greater Than Sin (America Star Books) and is a contributing author in Penned from the Heart (Son-Rise Publications), Rise (Chaplain Publishing), and Love Knots (Vine-Word Publishing). He has served as Regional Correspondent and Sunday school lesson writer for the Baptist Courier and has also written for Lifeway’s Bible Studies for Life curriculum. He has also been published in Christian Living in the Mature Years, Mature Living, Parenting Teens, Open Windows, Proclaim, Stand Firm, The Secret Place, The Word in Season, The Upper Room, The Upper Room Disciplines, Light from the Word, Reach Out Columbia, Mustard Seed Ministries, Journey Christian Newspaper, Common Ground Herald, The Quiet Hour, Power for Living, Halo Magazine, Joyful Living Magazine, Christian Broadcasting Network, Converge, Sharing, Today’s Christian Living, These Days, Plum Tree Tavern, Eskimo Pie, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Creation Illustrated, LIVE, Purpose Magazine, The Banner, Relevant, Bible Advocate, Reasons to Live, Author Magazine, and Lutheran Digest. Wiles has also written for the Bridges and Pathways Curriculum (Warner Press) and is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, PCC Daily Devotions, Theology Mix, Inspire a Fire, The Write Conversation, Inkspirations, and VineWords and is a regular writer for the Dorchester County Eagle Record, the Orangeburg County Times and Democrat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal. Wiles has also served on faculty for the Asheville Christian Writer’s Conference. crat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal. Wiles also serves as the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions , the Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, and as a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. You can follow him @linesfromgod.