Therefore, I will now allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
From there I will give her her vineyards,
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
Recently I got into a conversation about the intention and origin of suffering, pain, and even evil. The truth is I don’t really know where all of this is coming from, but the great mystery is how God is revealed in the midst of these difficulties.
The “Valley of Anchor” literally means Valley of Trouble. Buy all definitions trouble means despair. But the Scripture gives a new light on trouble. With God in the picture trouble is the door of hope.
Would we know hope if we did not have trouble? That is a mind bender. And please do not misunderstand me. I definitely do not believe that God is pushing the button for everyone’s pain and suffering. I believe it is God’s desire that we do not suffer or experience pain or even sin. The mystery is that somehow and someway God is revealed in the midst of these difficulties. And when we are standing in the valley, hope is the keyhole to seeing who God really is.
I don’t know how our image of God would be shaped if we did not suffer at all, but I’m certainly thankful that God’s promise of hope rests on my shoulders even in the most difficult of times.