where the morning is bright and the Lamb is the light, And the night is as fair as the day.
REFRAIN: There'll be peace in the valley for me some day, There'll be peace in the valley for me. I pray no more sorrow and sadness or trouble will be, There'll be peace in the valley for me.
- First verse and refrain, Peace in the Valley (by Thomas Dorsey, 1937)
Almost anyone who grew up in the Christian faith can remember singing Peace in the Valley. This beautiful spiritual song of faith was often sung in my church and at church camp during vespers in the summer. I can remember attending a service on the side of a mountain in Virginia as the sun set over the Shenandoah Valley and how the words impacted me while looking down on that beautiful scene not too unlike the picture above. Many don't realize it, but Peace in the Valley was sung before an audience of fifty-five million by Elvis Presley on his third and final appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1957 and the Negro spiritual's popularity soared. Today it is no longer so popular as times change, but I can remember when I heard it or sang it I thought about the state of the world we live in. It begs the question: Can there be a lasting peace on this place of valleys, mountains, plains and oceans we call earth? Sadly, the answer is a resounding no when we consider the frailty and weakness of mankind in carrying out daily life, for there is always someone or maybe even a nation that wants more and more and gives less and less and conflict then inevitably becomes the result.
We must face the truth. Each of us, members of the human race, are all sinners and we just can't help ourselves. The lust for power, riches, physical gratification and so much more is strong and it requires greater strength from within us to overcome. Some will and many won't and because of the condition of the human race the struggle will continue. With the Evil One always lurking around us, looking for a weakness to exploit, there will always be many who will succumb to his temptations and falter and that will cause conflict and strife in the "Valley of Life." Satan is smooth in his deception, casting himself in ways that make him seem desirable and when we falter, we fail to realize that his interest is not in helping us, but in destroying us just as he knows he will ultimately be destroyed. That pain and destruction means the world will never have total peace for peace requires it to exist both externally and internally in our lives. Now those of us who find belief through faith can conquer it, but we can't conquer it for others since the decision to follow God is an individual one. We can inform others and try and show them a better way, but ultimately it is their decision.
Having said all of this, we shouldn't be discouraged but instead remember that Christ Jesus is coming back and when He returns it will be to rule the world for one thousand years. We know not when this will happen, but the Bible tells us when the Archangel Gabriel sounds his horn, Jesus will appear and return to earth on a great white horse. When that happens, his rule will begin and there will indeed be peace in the "Valley" we call earth. All who departed this life before His arrival and believed by faith in Him will inherit the kingdom as well as all who are living at the time with the same belief. If the commitment was made to live for Him and put Him first in our lives, then Salvation will be ours. Sadly, for those who refused to accept His forgiveness which was granted on the Cross as He breathed out his last brief the time to commit will be gone. Each of us can determine in our own hearts what that will mean but it won't be a good prospect. I for one know the answer in my own heart and want to be with Him. It's your choice and your decision, so please choose wisely.