Illustration: Valleys

Besides the Bible's Valley of Megiddo, the most famous valley in literature is surely Alfred, Lord Tennyson's valley of death in his poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade," written to commemorate the suicidal charge by British forces in the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War (1854-1856): "Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them, cannon in front of them, volley'd and thunder'd."

Surrounded by mountainous walls, the level floors of valleys are good places for battles and good places for bandits to attack careless travelers. We much prefer the bright, clear mountaintops of life--but there can be no mountains without valleys in between. God was with David in the Valley of Elah where the shadows of death were cast by the giant Goliath--and led him through to victory! You can't avoid the valleys of life. But when you enter one, make sure God is with you so His rod and staff can comfort you.

More of life is lived in valleys than on mountaintops, so more of life will be a challenge to our faith. (Turning Point Daily Devotional, 9-1-06)