The Valley of the Shadow of Death

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me…”
Psalm 23:4a

Literally, the Hebrew translates “the valley of deep darkness”.  Have you been there?  Are you there now?  Whether depression, grief, anger, or strife has taken you into that valley, you are not alone!  God tells us in Isaiah 41:10,
“Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God,
I will strengthen you, surely I will help, you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
And in the New Testament, Jesus reminds us that,  “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Think for a minute with me. You are standing in a totally dark room.  There is nothing but darkness all around.  Then you turn on the light switch.  What happens!  That’s right! Light is everywhere and there is no more darkness.  Remember: Where light is, darkness must flee!  Darkness and light cannot coexist!  If Jesus is with you and He is Light, then there can be no more darkness or evil!  Look at James 4:7. “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

Christians sometimes have dark times.  Jesus even had a dark time on the cross where He felt abandoned by God.  Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus, but then He got up and raised Lazarus from the dead!!!  Having a dark time is not sinful, staying in the dark time and not moving beyond it is.  There is joy in the morning!  I have been there, Friends.  I have been through clinical depression.  Darkness so dark that it put me on the ground and held me there.  It was a pit so dark and so deep that I could not see my way out.  But when I cried to God, He led me to wholeness and joy through His Word, His Presence, and His people (friends and counselor).

Let me remind you of one more verse: Psalm 37:23-24.
“The steps of a man are esstablished by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is othe One who holds his hand.”

When you were teaching your child how to walk, the time came for you to let go.  That child either walked or fell down or both!  But you were there to pick him/her up and set them back on their feet to try again.  The child could have sat down and cried, “Daddy (or Mommy),  where are you that you let me fall and hurt?”  You were there all the time, but the child did not know that.  Letting go is a part of good parenting.  God also sometimes lets us go, that we may test our faith muscles, but He is always there and ready to pick us up again!

Hint of the Day: Begin letting go today while your children have the safety net of your home, your love, your comfort and your care.  Be there, but stand back.  Don’t rescue them from every evil, let them figure out what to do and just reassure them that if they need you , you are there.

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