Welcome to God Today. I’m Steve Reiter with Right Turn Media and the Eternal Leadership podcast. In total, I worked for Dr. James Dobson for 15 years. I was his chief audio engineer at Focus On the Family and then left with him to go help start Family Talk. Family Talk is a start-up ministry, so the money never really came in enough for me to be able to build the kind of staff that I had at Focus. I was doing two daily radio broadcasts with half the staff I’d have at Focus to do one and I wasn’t managing myself well, I wasn’t managing my team well, and I wasn’t managing my health well in any stretch of the imagination.
It was during that time right towards the very end that my health really started to go downhill. In my last two months there I lost 20 pounds. I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t sleeping. I was throwing up multiple times a day and my doctor pulled me aside and he said, “Steve, you don’t understand this, but you have to leave for your health’s sake.” On my last day, I weighed less than when I started my senior year of high school. That’s how thin I was. When I stepped out, when I left, when I turned in my resignation, I felt defeated because I had this hand of protection that was over my career and propelling me up through the ranks at Focus, to this place where I was Dr. Dobson’s right-hand man when it came to the recording, and I felt defeated. I felt humiliated. I felt like I had no future. And I had no idea where I was going to go.
But in the time since then, I’ve been reminded of the story of Joshua and the Israelites as they moved through the Promised Land. Their first big defeat was the town of Ai. They had only sent a fraction of their army and they were routed. It turns out that the sin of Aiken was what really kind of kept them from that victory. Now they cleansed that sin and moved through Ai and had no problems whatsoever. But that was their worst defeat.
The Valley of Achor where they were camped out is mentioned two other times in the Old Testament. It’s mentioned at the end of Isaiah 65:10, “The Valley of Achor is called a resting place for herds, for my people who seek Me.” And then in Hosea 2:5, “He will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.” When I left media, I felt like it was my worst defeat, but God, as I recovered from my burnout, took me back there and it became my door of hope. It became a resting place for my herds. I’m sensing that there are some people watching right now where you suffered a major defeat in your past. You don’t know how it can be redeemed. You don’t see any way it can be redeemed, but I am here to tell you that your Valley of Achor can be your door of hope. It can be a valley where your flocks are resting.
I want to pray for you right now if this really touches you. Father, I want to lift up those people that have just gone through the wringer. And they’ve had this massive defeat in their life where they saw so much favor and then it was just cut off. It felt like it was just cut off. I ask right now, Jesus, that You’d help to reawaken that spark. Reignite that flame that was in their spirits so that way they can in a month’s time, and two months’ time, and in a year’s time down the road, look at that season and say, “Yeah, that was a big defeat. But now I am truly in my Valley of Achor.” In Jesus’ name. Amen.