A few years after Victoria and I were married, we sold our house and moved into a new one. One day, there was a knock on the door. A policeman was standing there. My heart started beating so fast. He smiled and handed me some papers and said kind of lightly, "Somebody must really not like you." I said, "What do you mean? What is this?" He said, "You've been named in a lawsuit."
Turns out, the people who bought our house were suing over the plumbing. They not only sued us, they sued the builder, the architect, the real estate agent, the plumber, everyone they could think of. We knew we weren't at fault. We didn't build the house, and the plumbing worked fine for us. But for six months, we were dealing with that, and my stomach was in knots! I was so worried. At 26 years old, I thought that was the worst thing that could ever happen to me.
A few weeks before I was going to have to give my deposition in front of a lawyer to tell them what had happened, I was so nervous. I studied, I prepared, I found all of my documents. I went and gave my deposition. When I was finished, I was so nauseated that I couldn't even drive home. I had to have somebody come and pick me up! That seemed like the biggest waste of time and energy to me; so much unnecessary heartache and stress. I didn't see how anything productive could ever come out of that. But in every valley, you're gaining something. You may not realize it, but there's a purpose.
Thirteen years later, we had just acquired our current building, the former Compaq Center. A company filed a lawsuit to try to keep us from moving in. Now, I wasn't dealing with a small plumbing problem, I was dealing with something that was critical to my destiny. When I went to give my deposition in front of a battery of high-powered attorneys, I wasn't the least bit nervous. I was confident, I was prepared, I had experience. I had been there before. I knew exactly what to expect. There was a purpose for that valley thirteen years earlier. I didn't see it at the time. I let it stress me out, steal my joy, and now I realize it was a valley of blessing.
I've learned nothing happens by accident. God knows what He is doing. Every valley has a blessing, and every valley has a purpose. There's no use getting upset and letting trials sour your life. God promises His people victory! One day, you will look back and see what He was up to. You'll say like I did, "Lord, thank You for preparing me in the valley!"
"For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!" (2 Corinthians 4:17, NLT)