Reverend Dr. William H. Curtis

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2 Samuel 15:23 (AMP) 

While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people crossed over. The King also crossed the Brook Kidron, and all the people went on toward the way of the wilderness [that lies between Jerusalem and the Jordan River]. 

This passage of scripture recounts the start of Absalom’s rebellion. David has just found out about the betrayal of his own flesh and blood and he is panicked. He’s about to cross the Kidron, fleeing his own city, vacating the throne. Not only has he been deceived by his family, he is watching those close to him being charmed by the lies spewed from his son. Here we see how low David has sunk. He is literally crossing a river with his remaining loyal people, walking into the wilderness to escape his current situation. 

Let’s take it back for a second. 

In Hebrew, Kidron means to be dark and to mourn. How representative of the trying state that David is in! He is emotionally and spiritually in a dark place; he’s grieving, he’s lost his stride. Rock bottom. 

Down, but not defeated. He will overcome and lead the people. He has more songs, more wisdom, more prayers inside of him. His purpose does not end in this valley. God has sent him there for his own spiritual enlightenment. 

Have you walked in that same valley? Have you had to walk through those tough moments in life where the things surrounding us are anything put pure? Perhaps you’re in that season of your life right now, or maybe you’re yet to arrive. 

You can’t get to your purpose without going through the valley, without crossing your own Kidron Valley barefoot and distressed. You’re not going to want to embrace this season. Maybe you’ll get mad, shift the blame, question God. 

None of us get to design a path that skips the valley. The victory you seek requires you to go through the Kidron Valley.

You don’t learn everything you know about God because your journey was without struggle. You learn how to pray and love God because he pushed you and developed you. You learn to love Him more and pray harder. Sometimes by being turned upside down and turned inside out, you end up landing the right way. 

Maybe you’re grumbling to yourself, talking about God’s plan, talking about how this is God’s “Plan B” for your life because “Plan A” didn’t work out. 

Some of us think that God responds to our detours as if they take Him by surprise. Is God not forgiving? Full of grace? A protector? A healer? You are not God’s Plan B. Every struggle thrown your way is all part of His plan for you. 

Now, you might not know why you’re in this season, but you need to think about what God is trying to teach you. Don’t ever forget how closely anointing and affliction are tied together. Think of the Kidron Valley as a bridge between anointing and affliction. If you live with a heavy anointing, you are going to have to navigate severe affliction. Your spiritual gifts—your anointing—is not a shield; it’s a magnet. Every issue that searches out your gift is going to act out in your presence. Being greatly used by God means being greatly pained by life. 

Jesus absorbed and embraced the shame of the cross. You should too. Life can be dark. Stop blaming everyone else and accept that it is your time. You don’t get out of the valley because you shift blame. Like David, you get out because you embrace, you endure, and you reemerge better. 



In an earlier post, I go into quite a bit of detail on the definition of “Stewardship.” Most directly, I feel the part that applies to us Christians during this holiday season of need and charity is that stewardship is the “responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving” (, 2015). I believe that our faith is such a thing. In the same way that we think about caring for other people at the holidays—making sure the homeless are clothed and fed or our own loved ones know that we care for them on a daily basis—we need to think about and attend to our faith.

During the holidays, it is easy to look back and take stock of what we feel are blessings and what we feel are challenges that were overcome with our faith or the strength of those around us. After all, this is the time of year we often reflect. This is when we deliberately take stock of where we need to improve in the coming year and what we did in the past year that worked. We thank God for His blessings, and we ask Him for help with new challenges.

In our busy lives, it is difficult to set aside time to spend on these reflections of faith and calmly re-evaluate our ways of handling stress or in praying for ourselves and others. It is even more difficult to acknowledge that, aside from weekly church attendance and attention to our loved ones in life, we might need to focus more deeply in our faith and in our trust and relationships with God. Many times, we think we know the answers when it comes to how we should handle certain situations or how we look at ourselves, when in fact, we should acknowledge God and His plan for us more often. Should we change certain pathways in life or improve on certain situations? Can we honestly ask God how to approach all of that when we think we know best all the time?

By giving in to our faith and trusting that our relationship with God is the only one equipped to help us get through life’s challenges and adequately give thanks for His assistance in all that is good, we let go of our ego and our own bad habits to listen solely to God and to His Divine Inspiration. In this way, we are stewards of our own faith and can hope to eventually be there in faith for others. We forget about putting ourselves first, and we understand our commitments to others and to God.

In light of recent ongoing events in the world that sometimes leave us speechless and feeling helpless and angry, remember that our stewardship of our faith and to others helps in ways that we can't always fully understand until we see the aftermath when people are banding together and thankful for the help they do receive. It is imperative that we maintain our sense of service to others and our stewardship of the Christian way of life with prayer and good will to others in all cultures and countries. This is our contribution to making the world a better place.

Of course, most of our environments are physical. Aside from what we create in our minds, we exist in a variety of physical environments. We have our own personal space and that which we share with others. When we are out more often, as is the case in seasons of warm weather, we have to engage ourselves with people on a regular basis and we should certainly take advantage of the fellowship that this blessed season of summer can afford us—picnics, swimming, having dinner with friends, attending outings in parks and at beaches, and more. During these times, we need to always remember that our spiritual well-being should always be a priority in our lives, no matter how busy we get or how distracted we are. It is the core of who we are and how strong we stay in the face of any challenges.

In my last post, I invited everyone to make lists about changes, improvements, and priorities, and I want you to keep those lists close to you these next few summer months. I also want you to give some attention to personal improvements and understand that uncluttering your life can result in renewed energy and room for more direct spiritual enlightenment. When we make the effort to organize and improve, and we consciously decide to take steps to change things in our lives, our minds open and become freer, and we become more directed and disciplined, even if just for a short time (until the next renewal episode). 

At the core of any strong human being is a strong sense of spirituality. We look to great leaders and captains of industry like President Obama, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and others—all of who had or have a strong sense of self and of a higher power. God can do this for us. He can help us to stay strong in the face of whatever challenges us.  We watch these people of faith who have also had tremendous success in life, and we wonder how they do it all. And, to me, that is no secret. They have their faith and their sense of spirituality first, then the other successes come to them. How? Why? Because they have the ability to see what they want and to take steps to get what they want—the proverbial “eye on the prize,”. Part of getting what they want entails applying discipline to their other areas of life.

It is imperative that we all do a spring-cleaning of the self, home, office, soul, and more every year. This time of the year provides the perfect opportunity for that. Once we make our “to do” lists, we need to decide what needs to be improved and make it all a constant way of life. Then we are freed up to handle our spirituality—our place of contemplation and time with Jesus in prayer or repose or introspection—so that we can cleanse our minds and walk with God as our partner in everyday life. Only then can we experience the “joie de vivre”—the joy of life that these people in high positions experience. Before we have the yacht and the caviar, we have to have the prayer and a solace that provides us daily fortitude. Before we can have the beach vacation or the dinner on the deck with the family, or the trip overseas, or the season tickets to the baseball games all summer, we have to have the spirituality in place so that it guides us in all that we do.

Find this place while your mood is good and the sun is shining more days than it is not. Find time to pray and reflect on your blessings and on your challenges. Take control of your life and live strong in all that you do, everyday, all summer long.

What is your armor for the season this year? What have you done to prep for the summer months? What have you done to take stock of your past year—fiscally, academically, and more, during a slower season? Will your armor be new running clothes? Will you take that armor and strengthen your heart and body by running? Is the armor a reliable car that takes deliveries to the local food bank? Will you use it to strengthen your sense of responsibility to others and your sense of community? Will your armor be a journal or prayer book? Will you use that armor to stay close to God and to enhance your spirituality? Whatever accessories you choose to add to your full Armor of God, I hope you maintain them as valuable additions.

I’ve mentioned before that, when the seasons change, a lot of dynamics change.  Sometimes our family gets more demanding. Sometimes we don’t have as much work or financial resources as we want or need. Other times, people feel a renewed sense of self with the advent of more sunshine or a renewed feeling of hope for the rest of the year, regardless of the events of the first six months. We all need to be mindful of our goals for the year. Often, this is the time of year to handle such things. When the sun is shining, the nice weather can provide us ample opportunities for home improvement, travel, connecting with others, and getting ourselves in shape, to name a few initiatives. We can use this marked change in many of our environments to make a big change in ourselves. We can relish the sense of renewal we may feel and maintain whatever new sense of self, strength, or spirituality we may be experiencing.

However, from time to time, what we need to remind ourselves of is the tendency to rest too much can cause us to become complacent. We must be careful not to allow the entire summer to pass us by without making a single improvement. I am going to challenge you to create a simple list of initiatives. I want us all to pick FIVE things that we need to improve or do more frequently and FIVE things that we need to begin scaling back or stopping in our behaviors and daily activities. For example, we might add big initiatives to the list, such as reaching out to estranged family or looking into finishing a college degree. Or we might add smaller things to the list, such as going to the dentist more often or beginning to eat healthier foods. It should be interesting to see how the lists correlate or cross in some ways. Take the challenge and check back to see what awaits in the next post. It is a new season, and it is time to live stronger every day.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Nobody likes to be reminded they aren’t perfect. And yet, we all know that’s the case.

When I spoke a few weeks back about Moses’ struggles with speech in Exodus 4:10-12, I mentioned that God gave us our imperfections to humble us and to show us that we must trust in Him to allow us to achieve what we have to achieve even without every gift.

That is an important lesson for us to absorb. None of us have all the gifts needed to achieve anything, and yet, we are all capable of great achievement because God is there to make up the difference. God expands us and fills in where our very noticeable cracks are. We are imperfect, but through God, we can still accomplish anything.

God has designed us with these imperfections partly to remind us of His presence. If you were perfect, how often do you think you would be thanking God for what you have? More likely, you’d be demanding more. Our imperfection draws us to God. Our imperfections leads us towards the one, true perfection. 

But there is another purpose in our imperfection, and that can be seen in the verses from 1 Corinthians 12 above. An important key to our imperfection is that we are more perfect together. Each of us has our weaknesses. We know them in ourselves, we see them in others. But we all, also, have our strengths. God’s gifts are spread through the whole of humanity, so that our search for greater perfection leads not just to Him but to our friends, our family, our neighbors, and strangers as well. 

This is part of the glory of church: its ability to increase my faith and your faith by putting our faiths together. Likewise, my gifts shared with your gifts allow us to achieve even greater things. Moses may have led his people out of Egypt, but he needed Aaron and Zipporah and Joshua and many others by his side to lead them to the Promised Land.

Imperfection means we need each other. It means we have to rely on God and community to get beyond our shortfalls. As Paul says, “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”

With Easter just behind us, it also behooves us to remember that only one man has ever been born perfect. Jesus Christ was the only man ever able to save humanity on His own, to face down the devil on His own, to lead humanity all on His own; and even He chose to make His way in a community, to live amongst people, and to bring people closer together. 

We would do well to heed that lesson and appreciate more the gifts others bring to us. We are better for having others along with us. No matter our successes or our failures, God wants us to share it all with family, friends, and community.