I believe God walks with us through the valley, rather than organizing a detour

(The boy’s father said), “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Mark 9:22-24
– NC writer Derek Maul

Sometimes I like to find a photograph – typically one that already interests me – and then write a post around the picture. What I’m doing, essentially, is using the image as a writing prompt.

This one has such a lot to say! It is portrait of my mother. There she is: on the move, walking into the foreground, resolute, determined.

“I don’t think I have ever seen so many trees in a garden,” she had just said. “When you look up they fill the sky.”

She is right. Between the two lots there are hundreds of tall, solid, trees. So I took a few steps back to take the picture, aiming to get both houses into the frame.

And that is an important part of the story this photograph tells too. Our house to the right, red brick and upright; mum and dad’s to the left, a yellow saltbox cottage.

We live next door for good reason. It is what has made things possible for close to eight years and what is beginning to make things impossible too.

We are close so that when my parents have needed my help I am there. And because they are so close it can be hard for them – sometimes – to imagine that any other kind of help could be necessary.

Hence the power of the portrait of my mum. You can see that she means business.

Spring is Here:

But it is the first day of April. Spring is beginning to work its magic of regeneration and renewal. Accordingly, there is new life on the horizon and there are new solutions too.

“Everything is possible,” Jesus points out on several occasions and in more than one way, “for one who believes.”

The word Jesus uses is, “Possible”. He does not say “convenient”; or “unchanged”; or “comfortable”, or “what we’re used to”; nor does Jesus say, “all things will play out in just the way you want them to.”

None of those. Instead, Jesus says “Everything is possible.” (“All things are possible,” in the NIV)

And here is what I believe. I believe it is possible to care for my dad appropriately and respectfully… even if it means to care differently than what we are all used to today.

with dad, mum, and Geoffrey

I believe that Jesus works with us when we make difficult choices, rather than overruling us or imposing some divine plan.

I believe that God accompanies us in the valley of the shadow, rather than organizing a detour.

I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief – DEREK

Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no danger because you are with me.
Your rod and your staff—
    they protect me.

Psalm 23:4


  1. Thanks for sharing these painful thoughts, Derek. Difficult days, hard choices but grace for the moment walking with the Master. Peace and blessings to you all.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s