An excerpt from Phillip Keller’s book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23:
“I recall one year when an enormous flock of over 10,000 sheep was being taken through our courntry en route to their summer range. The owners came asking permission to water their sheep at the river that flowed by our ranch. Their thirsty flocks literally ran to the water’s edge to quench their burning thirst under the blazing summer sun. Only in our valley was there water for their parched flesh. How glad we were to share with them.
As Christians we will sooner or later discover that it is in the valleys of our lives that we find refreshment from God himself. It is not until we have walked with him through some very deep troubles that we discover he can lead us to find our refreshment in him right there in the midst of our difficulty. We are thrilled beyond words when there comes restoration to our souls and spirits from his own gracious Spirit . . . .
Often we pray or sing the hymn requesting God to make us an inspiration to someone else. We want, instinctively, to be a channel of blessing to other lives. The simple fact is that just as water can only flow in a ditch or channel or valley–so in the Christian’s career, the life of God can only flow in blessing through valleys that have been carved and cut into our lives by excruciating experiences.”