This post is unplanned. Though I’m trying to get on a regular schedule of posting and plan ahead what I will be posting, this wasn’t it. It is inspired by my devotional reading this morning. Yep… the Lord told me to write it.
Today I read from Psalm 23:4:
Yea, 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.
It got me thinking about what “the Lord is my shepherd” means.
Two things come to mind.
The Shepherd, Jesus, is with us through the many and varied hardships we all face in life. When the bottom drops out, He is there to lead us back to safety. He doesn’t necessarily lead around Shadow Valley. It is a valley which must be passed through.
- He goes before us.
- He walks beside us.
- He comes behind us.
- He is with us as we navigate the valley.
Having been through some dark valleys, I have known the Shepherd’s presence. Still, He guided me through the valley. Not around.
Shadow Valley is not only a valley of hardships, it is often a valley of sin and temptation.
This aspect of Shadow Valley is less obvious. We don’t often think about the Shepard leading us through temptation. We pray, “deliver us from temptation,” which He does. Still, we manage to get ourselves lost in the valley of sin and temptation, and when we do the Shepherd is there to lead us through to the other side.
He leads us through to:
- Guard us from going backward.
- Encourage us to move forward.
- Depend on Him.
- Make us stronger.
When we come through the valley the Shepherd provides:
- Green pastures
- Still waters
- Restoration for our soul
- Guidance in righteousness
- Food and comfort
These are just a few thoughts I had as I read Psalm 23:4 this morning. What do you think? What is your experience with Shadow Valley? Leave a note in the comments.