The Twenty-Third Psalm
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
What one of us hasn't faced fright and fear head-on by softly quoting the twenty-third Psalm? We repeat those old familiar verses time and again to soothe our souls and break the suffocating grip of fear.
I'm particularly fond of the fourth verse.
"Even though I walk through the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me."
The psalmist doesn't focus his attention on the dark valley, and he's not distracted by the shadows.
He sees through the valley, past the darkness, and looks with confidence toward the other side.
The dark valley is a place to go through, not a place to stay in.
Are you in the middle of a dark valley? It could be a bad financial report. Perhaps you just discovered drug abuse in your family. Your son is to be sent overseas. You are facing two weeks of bed rest. Your reputation has been stained by gossip.
It may look dark and gloomy right now, but please remember that God does not intend for you to stay in those shadows.
The valley He has led you into is the same valley out of which He will lead you.
You will, by His grace, go through it.
There is, thanks to our Shepherd, a smile on the other side.
Lead me, Shepherd, through the dark times. I promise to follow You closely and to stay on the path, to remember that Your rod is with me and Your staff is there to comfort and guide.
Thank You for that little word, "through" in this beautiful psalm... I trust that You will lead me to the other side of the dark times to safety, rest, peace, and joy.
Joni and Friends
Diamonds in the Dust, February 7
By Joni Eareckson Tada