How Green Was My Valley. September 3, 2020. 246

Updated: Dec 30, 2020


There was a movie made in 1941 named how Green Was My Valley. It is about a village community in South Wales where a coal mine had ravaged the land, making its way into every household and life in the village.  


The narrator, the youngest boy of the key family, recalls days gone by when the valley was green, the men weren't slaves to a system, and families were cheerful. Over time, it wasn't just the green land that had become brown but the people's spirits! 


With all the COVID-related changes presently happening to our lives and environment, we can think our valley is changing — becoming brown and dark. Our future may seem bleaker than we had hoped. Regardless of how brown it might look, the Lord calls us to keep our focus on our destiny, not on this present world, despite needing to live in it. 


In John 18:36, Jesus answered Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world:"  This is a reminder that our kingdom is also not of this world.


Jesus even said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath no where to lay his head." (Matthew 8:20)


Here, again, he intimated that his kingdom wasn't on this earth. He didn't say, "Oh, I live in a lovely little house in Nazareth with Mum and the family. I just finished some renovations, so if mum sells she'll get a better price"


We need to be involved in all those sorts of things in this life and must exist the way others do, which is why Jesus also said, "to occupy till I come" (Luke 19:13), but our home is not here.


We were only born into this world because we are part of a system created by the Trinity. They set it up with air, water, hills and valleys, stars, sun and moon, animals, and then humans. We, therefore, have strong connections to it. We feel passionate about our way of life on earth and get very defensive when it appears threatened. We get apprehensive and feel compelled to oppose wickedness when it tries to turn our world brown. But how are we to defend?


When Peter thought Jesus' world was about to turn brown in the garden of Gethsemane as the soldiers came, he proposed violence and cut off the man's ear. Jesus said he'll have none of that nonsense. There are things we can do to keep our valley green for as long as we can — things within the law, but the rest needs to be done on our knees. 


Remember, we can't help being physically and emotionally attached, but our spiritual affections shouldn't be here.


The following verses bring us back to a reality we often forget. It fits in with the Lord's worldview but not ours.  2 Peter 3:10-13


But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.


Peter points out that rather than setting up on this earth as if it were our destiny, we should focus on the day of the coming of the Lord and a new heaven and earth wherein dwells righteousness, and prepare for that. 


John Bunyan in Pilgrim’s Progress preferred to journey toward his new spiritual kingdom rather than remain in this one, seeing no value in it.  

Lot ran toward a new kingdom with fear and trepidation with only a handful of belongings. He fought for righteousness in Sodom for as long as he could to keep his valley green —  the one he saw when given the choice by Abraham. (Gen 13:10). Yet, his wife wanted the world she had in Sodom despite being surrounded by filth and wickedness.  

Moses, when he was apprehended by God at the burning bush, rejected the comfortable life of a shepherd in Midian, for he saw a better country ahead, Israel, followed by a better one after that, Heaven.


God knows our society changes. He also knows we go through emotional responses that come with them. But our eyes must be on the prize so that none of these things move our minds and hearts from the rock of our foundation. That foundation is not of this world, therefore neither are we. 


When we stop looking for that new heaven and earth and its righteousness, we become so tied to this earth we actually don't want to leave it. We stay so busy creating a nice place for ourselves, we forget our main focus — the need to build a spiritual Ark for ourselves and our families.   


2 Corinthians 4:16-18 gives us that focus.


16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.


Paul reminds us that this earth is temporal or temporary and getting browner by the day, but the saying, "the grass is always greener on the other side" applies to believers.


Instead of focussing on the browning of our earthly life, which must come, we should be looking at our green valley — toward that glorious future with joy and anticipation making sure our Ark is built properly and strong enough to get us through.


Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the wonderful future you have in store for believers. Thank you for the marvellous promises to all who will step over the line of becoming Born Again. Please help me to keep focussing in what is growing and not what is dying, what is permanent and not temporary. Please help me to see through your worldview, not mine, as sometimes my view gets confused.


Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the wonderful future you have in store for believers. Thank you for the marvellous promises to all who will step over the line of becoming Born Again. Please help me to keep focussing in what is growing and not what is dying, what is permanent and not temporary. Please help me to see through your worldview, not mine, as sometimes my view gets confused.

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