Embracing the Valleys

down in a valley

Choose to trust in the Valley

Have you ever felt as if you were stuck in mud or worse yet, quick sand. I know I have felt that way many times in my life.  Sometimes, processing the emotion tied to these events in our life is challenging. As a pastor I am allowed to feel down,is it ok for others to see this? I say yes and yes. Does that mean when you’re feeling down or stuck you walk around looking like the world is at an end? No. But it does mean that it is alright to let others know that you are human.  On two separate occasions, I came across these two articles. I feel that they tie together beautifully. The first article is by Jud Wilhite and the second is by Bob Gass.


C. H. Spurgeon is one of my favorite dead-guy pastors. He wrote and led in the 19th Century and wrestled with depression most of his life.
I love this insight from him: “This depression comes over me whenever the Lord is preparing a larger blessing for my ministry; the cloud is black before it breaks, and overshadows before it yields its deluge of mercy. Depression has now become to me as a prophet in rough clothing, a John the Baptist, heralding the nearer coming of my Lord’s richer benison.”
Have you ever thought that your depression or struggle could be preparing you for something greater?

– Jud Wilhite

Refuse to Quit

“In 1902, a 28-year-old aspiriring poet received a rejection slip from the editor of the prestigeous “Atlantic Monthly”. Returned with a batch of poems he submitted was a curt note: “Not one worth publishing.”  That poet’s name was Robert Frost.

In 1905, the University of Berne turned down a dissertation by a young Ph.D., calling it “fanciful and irrelevant.”  The name of that physics student was Albert Einstein.

In 1894, a 16-year-old boy found this note from his speech teacher in Harrow, England, attached to his report:”Hopeless…seems incapable of progress.” That boy’s name was Winston Churchhill.

There’s a message here for you. Even when others offer you no hope or encouragement, refuse to quit! Listen to the words of Jacob, who led King David’s army: “Be strong and let us fight bravely…The Lord will do what is good in his sight,” (2 Samuel 10:12 NIV). Jacob knew that as long as you stay on the battlefield, God can give you victory. But if you quit, what more can He do for you?

Never give up when you know you’re right! Believe that all things work together for good if you just persevere. Don’t let the odds discourage you; God’s bigger that all of them! Refuse to let anyone intimidate you, or deter you from your goals! Fight and overcome every limitation! Remember, every winner – every one of them – faced defeat and adversity; and you’re no different.

-Bob Gass

We all get discouraged at times. We may feel blue, down, depressed. Don’t run from it,or ignore it. Embrace it. Let God do His work in you, and your life.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen


Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. – Psalm 42:11 (NIV)


About Chris Sonksen

Chris Sonksen is the founder and Lead Pastor of South Hills Church and has an exceptional ability to inspire both secular and non-secular audiences. Under his leadership, South Hills has experienced phenomenal growth and in just a few short years has grown from a handful of people to nearly 3000 in attendance today. Today South Hills has become a thriving, multi-service and multi-site church. Chris has a magnetic, captivating and humorous style for motivating and inspiring all audiences. As a motivational speaker, he has spoken both nationally and internationally in companies such as Verizon, Securitas and Home Depot, and there is no doubt that by applying his teachings, his audience will improve the quality of their lives! Chris is the author of two books In Search of Higher Ground and Handshake. Chris is the founder of Celera Church Strategy Group an organization with an unwavering commitment to excellence in all things, with the goal to “raise the national average of church attendance,” by equipping church leaders with resources and coaching. Chris brings high-energy focus and a passion for vision and leadership to encourage and equip the local Church. Chris is a native Californian, born in Long Beach and currently resides in Corona with his wife, Laura and their two children, Grace and Aidan.

Posted on March 30, 2010, in goal setting, Leadership, Personal Growth, Storms of life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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