Sheldon Clowdus

Disciple . Husband . Father


Living in the Valley
Have you noticed that when God wants to teach you something, and I mean teach you something so that it is impressed on your heart in a manner you will not forget, he rarely seems to do it in a way that is easy for us. I think Sunday school, discipleship groups, accountability groups, small groups, etc. are all great things and I and many others have learned a great deal in those settings. But most of that learning is head knowledge, it's theoretical. At some point we have to learn how to live out that knowledge.

I think God also uses the small things in life to really drive home His points home with us. This is where a lot of Christians, I think, get off track. They are waiting for the big life changing event so that they can practice living their faith. In so doing, they sometimes miss the day to day chances to put their knowledge of God into practice.

I am in the middle of experiencing this myself right now. For those of you who don't know about me, I am married and have 4 children. The 6 of us live in a 1200 square foot 3 bedroom house. Because our youngest is only 6 months old, she sleeps in one bedroom alone so she won't wake anyone else up when she gets up in the middle of the night to eat. Doing the math, that means my other 3 children (ages 8,6,and 2) all share one fairly small bedroom.

What God is teaching me through this season of our life as a family is that I have not yet learned the secret of being content in every circumstance (Phil 4:11-12). It is the daily living in a house that by all worldly standards is too small for us that God is teaching us what it really means to be content with His provision for us and to trust in His plan for us. That doesn't mean that we don't pray and ask Him for a bigger house, but we always acknowledge that His plan is best and try to rest in that should He keep us where we are.

We often talk of mountain top experiences and needing to return to the valley. What we need to realize is that most of life is lived in the valley. Not that it isn't joyful and wonderful, but it is at times monotonous and normal. It is in the monotonous and normal that we learn what it really means to follow Christ and how to live out all the knowledge He is granting to us. I know I am learning a lesson in contentment and faith now that I will never forget.

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband, and a father. I teach 5th grade in my hometown of Rome, Georgia.


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