Grace in the Valley: Awakening to God’s Presence When He Feels Far Away
By Heath Adamson
Have you ever felt alone or distant from God? Like He is watching you from far away but is not engaging you, helping you, or giving you any signs that He cares what is going on in your life?
Perhaps you’re in the eye of the storm, trying to keep your own eyes open to weather what feels like a catastrophe closing in on you. Or maybe your trial finds you between a rock and a hard place and both paths laid before you appear rocky, long, and winding. Or, possibly you have become spiritual dry because your life is neither really good nor really bad but rather mundane and uneventful, making you blind to the blessings surrounding you and resentful of your current season of life.
If you have ever experienced any of these feelings, you most definitely are not alone.
Grace in the Valley: Awakening to God’s Presence When He Feels Far Awayby Heath Adamson is a book inspired by David’s journey and the well-known Old Testament Psalm, Psalm 23. In this book, Adamson challenges readers to consider if the green pastures and the valley of the shadow of death are, in fact, the same place.
Psalm 23 encourages us to lie down and rest in the beautiful pasture and to walk through the valley (of pain, emptiness, brokenness, etc.) because God is always with us. But if God is always with us, then why is it so hard to feel His presence? If God is with us (and for us) and in control of our destiny, then why won’t He make things right?
What if the trial we are encountering is actually God inviting us to trust in Him, grow closer to Him, and rest in Him?
God is all about mystery and often times when we ask for a miracle, God gives it to us packaged in a way we that may not look like a gift…in the moment. But learning to accept God’s gift of mystery even if we do not understand the “why” behind it (thus, unlearning what we think we already know) will lead us to discover a deeper knowledge of God’s absolute love.
“There are times when God, often described in Scripture as our Father, takes us by the hand and lures us to the barren place so we can have front row seats as He makes it bloom.” ~Heath Adamson, Grace in the Valley (page 28)
I know this to be true in my own life after experiencing several trials over a five-year span. Looking back, I can clearly see God’s sanctification within my soul, molding and shaping me into the woman He created me to be all the while preparing a place for me to feast at His table.
Grace in the Valleyis indeed an encouraging book and one I would recommend to someone who is currently living in a dark and/or lonely season. Going line by line in Psalm 23, Adamson weaves beautiful literature together with heavenly imagery to leave you with a peace that can only come from the Spirit at work within you.
Personally, I felt the writing, while good, was also a little slow which ultimately made it feel long and repetitive to me. (Specifically, I felt like the book could have been half the length.). All in all, it is well-written and worthwhile to explore King David’s story in greater detail.
* I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review