In preparing for a talk on the 23rd Psalm, valleys are one of the things that are on my mind. I'm an expert, I've walked a lot of them. In fact, everyone on earth has walked, is walking and/or shall walk a valley or two or three.
I was reading Fenelon on my Kindle app on my phone yesterday, and something he wrote made me think a new thought, at least for me.
There must be a purpose for valleys since the valley experience is universal for humans. Then I thought about dross being burned off of gold, about flexing and using spiritual muscles so that we walk with courage and faith through the valleys - and know as did the Psalmist that God is with us as we go through our dark times.
Then I thought the dross is our egos. The valleys teach us to follow God's Guidance and be shepherded through the valleys rather than insist we can do it alone. Let's contemplate that thought - the dross is my ego, it needs to go, my faith needs to grow stronger so that I walk awake in God.