The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; he keeps me alive. He guides me in proper paths for the sake of his good name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your rod and your staff – they protect me.
You set a table for me right in front of my enemies. You bathe my head in oil; my cup is so full it spills over! Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house as I live.
Psalm 23 (CEB)
How many times have we each walked through that darkest valley? As you ponder on that question, think about how you felt during that journey. It isn’t just an adjective — the valley truly is dark. You probably encountered fears and uncertainty. Though you felt utterly alone, you heard the hushed whispers and saw the pointing fingers. At times, the darkness may have threatened to consume you entirely, taking your very last breath.
And then you saw the Light!
That’s the beauty about this verse. God walks with you through that valley. Isn’t that greatest promise ever!!!? You do not need to have anxiousness about being lost in that valley forever. He is protecting you each and every step of the way.
You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
Friends, the darkness will always attempt to extinguish your light; THE LIGHT. When you find yourself in the midst of your valley, what do you do? How do you respond? Is it through tears of anguish? Is it through shouts of rage? Do you isolate yourself or reach out for others? Whatever you do, know that He is right there with you, guiding you to the other side. And once there, you will experience joy and peace. No longer will you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Without the pain of valley we can never truly appreciate the joy of the Light.
Dear Lord, these valleys can be quite a scary place. Help us to remember that you have promised to protect us and love us. Thank you for giving us pain so we can truly know joy. Amen