I recently had a conversation on Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast with Chuck and Ashley Elliott about how to cope with loss. In today’s blog post, Ashley Elliott shares three powerful ways God brings life to hearts hurting from grief. Learn how God renews our minds, helps us take our thoughts captive, and fills us with His Spirit to bring life and confidence in times of grief and loss. He can turn our valleys into springs filled with hope and renewal.
Be sure and read to the end for a book giveaway!
Three Ways God Turns Valleys into Springs
by Ashley Elliott, MS, LMHCA
Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs.
Psalm 84:5-6a (NIV)
God’s word in times of loss
When we walk through times of loss, we may feel like we’re in the Valley of Baca which is known for being a desert place.¹ Just as deserts are dry and can deplete us quickly, so can seasons of loss. But God’s Word encourages us that if our strength is in the Lord, and our hearts are set on pilgrimage, the valley will become a place of springs!
Imagine this imagery for a moment. You’re walking through the valley, and every step you take yields life. After a few steps, you notice some noise behind you. It’s water! When you turn to look back, you see a spring flowing from the place where your foot passed. As you look a little farther, you notice that fruit trees have sprung up behind you. God, through you, is transforming your valley into “a place of springs” (Psalm 84:6a).
Isn’t this imagery beautiful? When I first began to see the story of this Scripture play out in my mind, I began to experience deep feelings. Part of me rejoiced, but another part of me felt sad. I don’t feel like I walk out this verse perfectly. Instead, I feel that, at times, my grief has made me uglier, causing me to feel less worthy of the calling to minister to others. But, I’m choosing faith, and I have learned that my negative space thinking can sometimes lie to me. Perhaps you’ve felt similarly. I wonder if there may be times when God has transformed my valleys into springs and I may not have identified the fruit because I didn’t turn around. I wanted to run toward something else so I didn’t have to think about the past anymore. But today, I’m going to be brave because I’m believing God is working, and His Word is true. Want to join me?
3 ways God brings life to hearts hurting from grief
Let’s consider 3 ways the Lord may transform the valley into springs. Actually, I’m going to offer a bonus method. He can literally cause water to spring up in dry places (Exodus 17:6), so I want to affirm God’s miraculous power to change our visible circumstances. But I’m going to focus on three ways God can help shift our hearts. Jesus says He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). When everything around us looks dead, He is our answer. Let’s look at three ways God says He will bring life to our hurting hearts in Scripture, transforming our hearts, restoring life.
- God renews our minds (Romans 12:2). Everyone drifts to a negative space where we feel overwhelmed by fear, doubt, or shame. But God will renew our mind if we seek Him. When our mind is renewed, we move back toward a positive space where we feel more hopeful and refreshed and can walk in confidence. This yields life for us and others!
- God helps us take our thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) so we can send our pain to Him through prayer. Everyone drifts to a negative space where we think dark thoughts that need to be stopped. This is part of the human condition. However, we have been saved from darkness and can create new thinking habits!
- God fills us with the Spirit so that His fruit will be displayed in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23). When we seek God daily, He begins to make us more like Him. Then, His life in us serves as a blessing that allows us to fight fear with confidence!
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV) says, “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
God’s Word can fill us with hope, so it’s important that we devote our lives to daily receiving life from The Bible. When we drift to a negative space, sometimes this is difficult. Let’s determine to root our life in Christ!
When God transforms your valleys into springs, people around you are impacted, seeing the life of Jesus in and around you. I share more about this beautiful picture in Chapter 26 of my book I Used to be ____.
What has been helpful for you in your grief journey? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
¹Charles John Ellicott, ed., A Bible Commentary for English Readers (London: Cassell and Co., 1905), at Psalm 84:6
About Ashley Elliott
Ashley Elliott, co-author of I Used to be ____, devised and published a theory to help individuals gain insight to their personal thinking patterns that prevent them from reaching success in relationships at work and home. She is also a licensed counselor and coach who specializes in grief and communication. Additionally, she consults with business leaders to help increase employee engagement and retention. Check out her book and lots of free resources at chuckandashley.com.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Chuck and Ashley are giving away a free copy of their book, I Used to be___: How to Navigate Large and Small Losses in Life and Find Your Path Forward.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you learned about how God can turn our grief-filled valleys into springs filled with hope and renewal and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of their book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, September 25, 2023. Continental United States only.