Excerpts from

Lord of the Valleys

By Florence Bulle - 1972

        "Thus says the Lord: ‘Because the Syrians have said, 'The Lord is God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys, ' therefore I will deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’”  1 Kings 20:28







The family

Note from Berit: Decades ago, when I was a new Christian, a friend gave me a book titled, Lord of the Valleys. Based on the Scripture above, the book was the personal testimony of Florence Bulle, who suffered much pain because of a chronic, debilitating lung disease. But in her hardest times, her Shepherd seemed especially close. He continually reminded her that He did indeed reign in the darkest of valleys as well as on the highest mountains -- and that the victories in the valleys would bring her more joy in Jesus than the triumphs of the heights.

I hope these excerpts -- and others to be posted later -- will encourage all who often face the battles of the valleys.

From Chapter 2: Lord of the Valleys

...it is not enough to see God in control—we must be rightly related to the King.

When we are entrenched by the forces of the enemy—people who would cut us down, situations which would destroy us, or tragedy which would shake our faith—victory depends on who is our king. Is it Benhadad, who saw only the God of the hills? Or have we enlisted in the army of the King of kings, knowing that in whatever valley we find ourselves, the battle is His! And we are more than conquerors through Christ!

"To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me....

"Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day." Psalm 25:1-5

From Chapter 8: I cannot choose

To come to the place where I was willing to let Him assert His claim to certain areas of my life had been a terrible struggle. Never had I known such conflict. I thought I had already walked through the valley of submission, but this valley experience was three months long, without parallel to anything I had ever passed through before.

At long last, I looked up to the One whose side had been pierced, who bore the nail prints in His hands and feet, and I meant it for time and eternity when I whispered, “My Lord, and my God.”

From then on life has been lived on a different plane. Even though it was no grand finale, from then on everything which I touched or which touched my life, was related to that committal. There are ever new claims of His Lordship to be met; the valleys don’t become shallower, but deeper and darker, as we move on from faith to faith. And always victory means complete identification with Christ in spite of the circumstances. But there can be no daily victories unless there are daily battles.

And so it was I looked back over one of the most difficult years I had yet known. There had been the strain of financial pressure, personal heartache, emotional stress, and I had been very ill. That spring the doctors had told me I wasn’t fighting to live anymore.

They were right. I was so utterly weary; I wanted so desperately to go Home. The only thing which held me to life was my little daughter, five years old at the time. Yet in God’s dealings with me, I had settled it: if He did take me Home, I could be sure He had something better for my little girl.

I had been home from the hospital three days. Beside me on the bed, my Amplified New Testament lay opened at Philippians, chapter one. The 20th verse had long been underlined in blue, later marked in red. Beside it, dated when I had written them, were these words: “Only the work of the Holy Spirit has made this prayer real to me: ‘Lord, spare me not—only let Jesus Christ be glorified!!!’ “

“. . . whether through life or death..."

Just before I’d left the hospital, one of my doctors had taken my hand and said, “I don’t know what the situation is, but I’ve sensed something—not something I can say, ‘I know,’ but I want you to listen to me. This is my philosophy: A saint is a saint in any situation, and a sinner is a sinner in any situation.”

...Of course, he was right! But I didn’t feel very saintly right then. And now that I was back home and the situation remained unchanged, I felt even less like a saint.

When a minister friend came in to see me, I shared with him some of God’s dealings during the past days and weeks.

“It wasn’t easy to commit Jan to His keeping if it meant leaving her motherless; yet I’ve always known she belonged to God, not to me.” I handed him my open Testament. “The Lord has been bringing me back again and again to that 20th verse,” I said, then added wistfully, “Maybe He’s getting ready to take me Home.”

The minister leaned back on his chair and folded his arms. “Maybe He’s just getting you ready to live.”

I closed my eyes, the tears spilling over in a rush. Getting me ready to live? But Lord, I’m so tired, so weary. How can I go on?

Now he was reading the passage I had pointed out. I listened while the tears continued unabated. That verse. But he didn’t stop. “I can say nothing as to my personal preference—I cannot choose....“

Just then I felt the smile of Jesus, the warmth of His smile enveloping me! He said, with such tenderness, “You know it’s not enough to say, ‘Yes, Lord . . . I cannot choose!’ You have to smile back—even through the tears.”

I began to feel myself relax.

After turning some pages, the minister went on reading. “Thank [God] in everything . . . for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus.”

In everything? The pain, the tears, the loneliness, the heartache, the endless struggle for breath? Not afterward—but in the midst of everything give thanks! And smile back, “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus” for me.

My mind suddenly began rerunning the “what if’s?” My little girl? No, I couldn’t keep back the tears which streamed, but I could say, “Yes, Lord, she is Yours. And I want my love for You to become a consuming fire that will burn away every other love—every cherished dream—everything—until there is only an eternal flame of love for Jesus.” There aren’t any “what if's?” if He is really Lord.

Who can will these things in themselves? Who can be sufficient in himself?

Not me—that was for certain! But I could still feel the warmth of His smile as I whispered, “Yes, Lord—I can and do choose to put my will on the side of God’s will, even against myself when they clash.... Let me live from day to day with only the strength You give, one breath at a time, taking ‘the cup’ from Your hand and giving thanks.

“I can’t of myself—but I can trust Your choice for me as being best--and smile back and say, ‘Yes, Lord!’ ... "In everything” I can give thanks!

"Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."  1 Corinthians 15:56-58

"Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."  1 Corinthians 15:56-58

    May we all who profess Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior--we all who profess born again--be made ready--sanctified with renewed minds--to Live for Christ in this life and in the hereafter! Praise God!
    Thanks be to God on the highest; for it is His Spirit's work in us--the Spirit of Christ Jesus--and in our lives making us able to Live for Him. For we have died, yet we Live, but it is Christ in and through us Who Lives. What a faithful God we serve!
    May we be willing, as Florence Bulle, to walk by faith and not by sight. Letting God do our walking, especially in the "valleys". Though as well in the "mountains"; as pride is an ever present evil to our souls as despair is in the valleys. For it is the trials God allows in our lives that bring perseverance we need to endure to the end in Christ. And to "prove" us--to ourselves--that we are His forevermore. Though I too seek them as they be the will of God; but my flesh is weak even as my spirit is willing. Oh Holy Spirit, give me the will to do and to do God's pleasure that whosoever will might be Saved. To God be the glory. Amen!
    In Christ, God Bless,
    Kim N. Stager

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