Green Is My Valley

     This morning, my daughter, Anna, sent me a verse of scripture – Philippians 4:5, The Voice version – Keep your gentle nature so that all people will know what it looks like to walk in His footsteps. The Lord is ever present with us.
    As I read “Green Is My Valley” again, I realize Mom knew God’s presence all through her life, and her faith in Jesus grew throughout ninety-one years.
   I remembered the Wednesday evening, on the way to Bible Study, I stopped at Mom’s small apartment.  She didn’t answer the doorbell.  I opened the door and called, “Mom, Mom?”  I found her in bed hungry and frightened. She had been there most of the day, too weak to call me. I know this poem echoed her thoughts and began to form on that day. “I feared to walk within the valley of pain. I had so much to learn.”
    The words of this poem came with the thought of how intense suffering is a growing time in the Lord.  Anna Daisy suffered ever-growing pain in breathing with the intensity as Pulmonary Fibrosis progressed. Her favorite Psalm 37, contains the words, “Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you.” (NLT)
     Empty words? Why do pain and the fear of pain become our teacher and turn our hearts to the Love of God and the power of His Son, Jesus?
     Just as we celebrate completing each year in school, we celebrate each milestone of healing and restoration to health. Our spirit grows in learning to trust our Lord God through illness and stressful times in our lives. We give God the Glory when we see through our difficult times we experience spiritual maturity of love, peace, joy, and patience.  It is not of us, but the gift of God and we give Him the glory!
     Noah saw the first rainbow that appeared in the sky, a promise from God. We are still filled with awe and excitement to glimpse the rainbow confirmation of God’s covenant with all living creatures, that floodwaters will not cover the earth again.  To Noah, who trusted and obeyed God and built a boat no one had ever seen before.  Believing in God creates a gentleness in our lives that speaks eloquently of God’s love.
     When I am discouraged and filled with fear, I remember, I John 4:18-19 – Such love does not doubt because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love.  We love each other because He loved us first.
      When Mother’s time came to meet with her Lord, and I began reading Psalm 37, including these two verses.  The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” (23-24). 
    Mother loved the phrase, Delight yourself in the Lord. Verse 4 – “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. As she took her last breath, I knew her heart’s desires, realized, and she was with the Lord. For the Lord endures forever and is faithful.”        
     Psalm 9:1-2 – I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
     2 Corinthians 13:11 – Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
     John 1:16-18 – From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.  For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.  No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
      James 1:2-4 – Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Green is My Valley
I feared to walk within the valley
Of pain. I had so much to learn.
The unexpected joys surprised me;
The Lord was there at every turn.
I found a richness in the valley;
My soul was Spirit-fed to grow.
A rainbow arched through blessing showers
Just when my evening lamp burned low.
Maturity came in my valley
Where faith ran like a river deep;
I found a rich contentment
Before I closed my eyes in sleep.

                  Anna Daisy Siemens

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