Through the Valley

imageMy brother-in-law passed today in the early hours of a very gray dawn. I kissed Dan’s cold forehead and sipped coffee his father offered. Tasting like sand in my dry throat, I drank it anyway, accepting the cup because I knew it was about his dad needing something to do.

Dan was forty-nine years old. Neuroblastoma damaged his brain and took his life. My mind tried to make sense of seeing Dan’s father weep over his son. He said, “See you up there, kid.” It all seemed very backwards, very wrong.

It IS wrong. My sister-in-law lost her husband and my nephew, his father. It is wrong and broken. This world is broken and cancer is one result of that brokenness, striking indiscriminately, impartial to tender ages and lives cut short.

How can we be restored to what is right, what is new, what is whole? How can we avoid that kind of despair which deceitfully convinces us not to hope? How can we come through the valley, able to rise in faith to a place where joy can still be found?

We are redeemed at the cross. We are justified by faith. We are restored by grace. We have real hope in a future of eternal glory when we stop trying to satisfy and secure ourselves, instead leaning entirely on Jesus. Hope that still stands when our worst fears have come to reality. When we are in the valley, like my sister-in-law and nephew, hope brings us through.

Grace be with you, my friends.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23


6 thoughts on “Through the Valley

  1. Katie, I am sorry to hear about your brother in law. How awful! What a thief Cancer is. My condolences to the entire family. God is our refuge and strength. Without God it is impossible to fight the battles of this life. With our hope in Christ and our eternal future secure in Him is the where with all to stand. May God be ever present with you.
    Love, Pat


  2. My heart cries out to God, “Hasn’t their family had enough, Lord?” and His answer is “Find rest in Me.” I believe that when this season is done God will pour out His blessing on you and your family. I often struggle whether the enemy is taking his last swings or if God is refining our faith through these times. Probably both. I pray that your faith remains strong and your Hope secure. I pray that you find joy in beautiful memories shared and the fact that your brother-in-law is now safe in the arms of the Savior. Much love to you and Jeff!


  3. Nothing is more comforting to me than seeing someone demonstrate truth-based and faith-filled perspective in the midst of tragedy. Your faith is encouraging, Katie! That kind of faith makes pain more bearable, but in no way does it make it easy. Michele and I are praying for you, Jeff and your entire family, and we love you very much.


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