“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” - Psalm 23:4
In life, there are times when you find yourself gliding with ease over the mountain tops, basking in the radiant sunlight. It’s easy to be happy, because any indication of something darker is still a long way off. But there are other times when you find yourself stumbling under a starless sky, trying to maneuver your way through a valley teeming with countless dangers. Maybe you’re in that valley now. You might have dropped into it recently or maybe you’ve been trying to find your way out for a long time, to no avail. An important fact to remember though, is that shadows cannot exist without light. If you’ve given your life to Christ, you have the brightest light in the world at your disposal. Sure, most of us know that, logically, but when you’re struggling to find a foot hold, it’s not much consolation. Well, it should be. You know why? Because God Himself has promised never to leave us or forsake us. What He promises in His word doesn’t apply to just a select few, it applies to ALL of His children. Maybe your family life is in tatters and there seems to be nothing you can do about it. Maybe you’re crippled with anxiety over the amount of coursework you have to finish for college. Maybe you’ve gone through a nasty breakup with someone you thought would be your forever. Maybe an addiction has you locked in its grip, so no matter how hard you twist and turn, you’re no closer to breaking free than if you hadn’t bothered to fight at all. Maybe you’re wrestling with severe depression and you’re on the verge of throwing in the towel. Whatever the case, God is with you. Even if something has proved to be impossible for you to overcome, NOTHING is impossible for God. I know what it’s like to feel like there’s no hope. For an entire decade, I was trapped in the deepest valley I could have fathomed stumbling into. I quickly discovered that there was little that any person could do to “fix” me, so I locked away any outward hint of turmoil and no one was the wiser for it. Eventually, I reached the point where I couldn’t take the pain anymore and in a last stitch effort
I cried out to God and asked Him to send me some help or else I was
going to kill myself. He not only answered that prayer for a momentary source of
comfort, He brought a best friend into my life, who was ultimately
someone I would fall in love with. In His infinite mercy, God worked a miracle in my life, even though I literally only gave him about a minute or two to work with.
He breathed new life into my brokenness. He spoke love into a heart that had been ravaged by rejection and loneliness.
He bound up my wounds, wounds that no human hand could have mended.
He drew me closer to Himself and showed me I could have a relationship with Him beyond my wildest fantasies.
I’m living proof that no valley is too deep for Jesus to pull you out of. Don’t let your circumstances lie to you. God loves you and He has so much more for you than pain. This valley will end. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. He won’t desert you to this.
Psalm 34:18-19 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the
crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the
Lord delivers him out of them all.”
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not
be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you
wherever you go.”
2 Samuel 22:29 “You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither
angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be
able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our
If you were blessed enough to open your eyes this morning; there’s still more to see, there’s more to do, more to show, more to live. God has you in His hand, let Him show you the beauty of being alive.
Your myth retellings are gorgeous. Would you tell another please? Maybe something with Hermes?
Pandora is made from
earth, shaped by the hands of Hephaestus and made in the image of his beloved
wife. Aphrodite gifts her with grace and charisma. Athena teaches her to weave
and bestows cleverness upon her.
She stands in front of
Hermes, and the god frowns and touches her with a single fingertip on her chin,
moving her head one way than the other. “They’ll eat you alive,” he says, and
she doesn’t understand.
She tilts her head to the
side and smiles a vacant smile. All of the cleverness in the world will do her
no good without any context. “We are the same,” she says, pressing a hand to
Hermes’s chest. She is made from earth and has the skin to mach. He is a
celestial god, and his skin is the same rich shade of brown.
He did not ask to be born
any more than his mother asked to bare him. His creation, just like hers, is at
the whims of Zeus. All for some little lost fire, all because Prometheus wanted
his people to be warm, and, well, he is the god of the thieves after all –
So he gifts her with
deceit, with selfishness, with cunning. Her smile leaves her face all at once
as she’s filled with self-awareness. “He’ll be angry with you,” she says, “I am
not what you were supposed to make.”
“Gods have short
memories,” he says, and doesn’t bother to hide the contempt in his voice. “Do
not worry about me, gifted child. You have larger problems than my fate.”
He has turned her from
something pure into – something more like him. Her face darkens even further as
her perfectly crafted mind slots all the pieces together, and he can’t help but
find her lovely. It’s how she was made, after all. “I can’t stop it, can I?
Whatever they’re planning for me to do?”
“No,” Hermes says, “but
now you might be able to survive it.”
“Will I want to?” she
asks, and he doesn’t answer. She doesn’t expect him too.
She hides from everyone,
lives in a cave at the edge of the city. The gods had called her the first
woman, but that’s not true, she can see.
There are women. They
smile and laugh have work roughened hands. She aches to join them, but she has
the beauty of a goddess. They will know. If she joins them, they will know she
is not of them, and it will set into motion whatever trap Zeus has planned.
She is not human, not in
the same way, molded from clay by a god’s hands. But she is of humans, and not eager to bestow upon
them the harm she’s destined to bring them. She bathes in streams where only
nymphs reside, steals into the city in the cloak of night and pilfers from the
“When they said they sent
my brother a wife,” a low, amused voice says too close behind her one night, “I
had not expected a begger.”
She whirls around, hard
bread clenched tight in front of her, an incredibly inefficient shield. Her
breath catches in her throat when she sees him, dark and tall and eyes like the
night sky. He looks like Hermes. Like her. “Who are you?” she demands. They’re
in an alley corner, and of her gifts flight is not among them. She’ll have to
fight him to get away.
She’s not afraid of him.
Maybe another mortal would be, cornered in the middle of the night by a man she
doesn’t know. But she’s no normal mortal woman, and besides – he has something
comforting about him, like the hearthfire attended by Hestia. Something warm.
“I am Prometheus,” says
the man, and no wonder he reminds her of fire. “What do they call you?”
“You are meant to be in
the deepest pits of Hades’s realm,” she snaps, and shifts her grip on the stale
bread so that she can throw it at him. He’s the whole reason she’s here to
begin with, him and his thievery.
He shrugs and walks
closer to her, watching her like one would watch a wild animal. Good. Here, in
this dark alley where no one would find a cooling body until morning, it is he
that should be afraid. “Gods forget,” he says, “and Hades had grown cold in his
place beneath the earth.”
She pauses, considers. “You
stole fire for Hades?”
“No,” he corrects, “I
stole fire for the people. But Hades benefited as well. Enough that he was
willing to forget the terms of my
“What do you want?” she
asks for the second time. “Why are you here?”
He stops, too close to
her, “The question is why are you
She steps into his space
now, following him as he backs away from her, “I am here because of you,
fire-stealer, because gods may forget but they do not forgive, and I am the
punishment they have unleashed upon the world.”
“What a punishment you
are,” he says, looking at her lips, and she forgets to hate him only long
enough to kiss him.
Hermes watches her,
watches them. He doesn’t know Zeus’s plan, if this is part of it or not, but he
watches her, and he worries. He thinks it is, he can see Aphrodite’s magic
clinging to Pandora, but he doesn’t know why.
He would go to his
mother, but she’s always difficult to find, Gaea preferring to live in streams
and rivers rather than face the man she bore a son for. But his mother’s
father, on the other hand, is always in the same place.
greets, touching lightly down onto the earth, “How are you?”
“How am I always, boy?”
Atlas grunts out, legs and arms straining as he holds up the sky above the
Hermes lips quirk up the
corners. Some days, he thinks he’s more Atlas’s grandson than he’s Zeus’s son. “I
need some advice, Grandfather.”
Atlas raises an eyebrow, “I’m
So Hermes tells him
everything, from beginning to end, because he can’t figure out what his father’s
plan is, but Atlas might. He’s known the man for longer, at least.
Atlas nods, slow, and
says, “A bride of gods, a gifted child. I can think of only one reason to
create such a child.” Hermes waits. Atlas sighs and says, “There is a jar,
within Olympus, that becomes sealed when it leaves the realm of the gods. After
that, only a being neither mortal nor celestial may open it.”
“What are they planning
to put inside?” Hermes demands, heart spiking. What are they planning to unleash
upon the unsuspecting earth?
His grandfather smirks, “It
doesn’t matter. What matters is this – what are you going to put inside?”