In the valley; especially in the valley

by DanWolgemuth on April 20, 2012

Have you noticed?

It is often pain, suffering, disappointment and doubt that sharpen the blades on the auger of life as it drills deeply into the closeness, intimacy, tenderness and promises of God.

Yesterday I stood in room 3301 at Sky Ridge Hospital where my friend Don Talley is. He’s a man that has battled a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy all of his life.

Don’s weakened physical state has only fueled his courageous spirit. He’s a warrior and a valiant communicator of the hope that comes from Jesus. I have met no one like Don Talley. When he rolls his wheelchair to the front of a room where teenagers are, he captures his audience like no one I have ever known. He’s honest, transparent and hope filled. God moves when Don talks.

So now, with his wife, Crissie, at his side, Don is fighting pneumonia. He battles just to breath.

But in this battle Don whispers about the reality of his closeness to his Father. The waves of pain and fear and worry have cast him on the shores of Christ’s love and care. In his weakness, he is strong. As he follows, he leads. In his silence, he shouts.

Jesus not only understands us when we travel through the valley of the shadow, He greets us there; He escorts us through.

In the valley; especially in the valley.

Even when our heart wants to escape – we find that we are not captive to our fears but rather to the love of Christ. He arrests us. He surrounds us. He embraces us.

In the valley; especially in the valley.

Don Talley is a hero to me. Not because of the platform he commands – but because of the clarity he has to the voice of God. He hears what most of us consider to be background noise. He’s tuned to a different channel; he hears a special frequency.

In the valley; because of the valley.

It is a privilege to witness the closeness, the authenticity, the hope… from Don, through Don, because of Don.

In the valley; especially in the valley.

“… I will fear no evil for you are with me.”

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