LIVING THE TRUTH OF PSALM 23 – part 3

As we read reflectively through Psalm 23, a few verses at a time, I pray that our God will lead each of us to know what living the truth of His Word means for each of our days. Whether it is a day of sadness, surprises, simplicity or celebration.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley [of the shadow of death], I will fear no evil, for you are with me… – Psalm 23:4

This verse is often clung to most tightly during the most frightening, overwhelming and tragedy-filled times of our lives. Those times when we can no longer deny the truth of our own mortality or the mortality of someone we love deeply. Maybe we’ve received a diagnosis or suffered an injury that completely uncovers the truth that has always been there: We are indeed frail, flawed and finite human beings.

And so we find ourselves walking in the valley of the shadow of death. This can be so scary. It can feel so lonely. On this side of heaven, we must face the unchanging truth that tragedy, loss and death do indeed come to us, and we have no choice but to walk through these times.

Yet! When we choose to walk with our Lord, our Shepherd, His eternal unchanging truth changes us. With our Lord, our Shepherd, there is no need to fear evil. There is no need to fear death. There is no need to fear that we are not prepared for or strong enough to make it through the valley of the shadow of death. Because we don’t have to be strong enough. At least not on our own.

Our Lord, our Shepherd, is with us! This is the unchanging truth that has the power to change us. This is the unchanging truth that changes our hearts, our minds and our spirits – right on this side of heaven – even as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. This is the unchanging truth that changes our present perspective and our eternal destiny. We understand that because we belong to, and are with, our Lord and Shepherd, everything that we could possibly face here on this earth is only a shadow. It is not made of anything substantive. It is not made of anything eternal. It is temporal and passing. Hard and painful, awful and ugly – Yes. But it is still, and only, temporal and passing. As we choose to stay close to our Lord and Shepherd, we will not only pass through the valley of the shadow of death, but we will overcome it in full victory and walk in inexplicable and unfailing love, joy and peace with our Lord and Shepherd for all of eternity! The days of the shadow will come. But they will come to nothing. They are only shadow. Our God is eternal!

Read, again, today’s verse:

Even though I walk through the darkest valley [of the shadow of death], I will fear no evil, for you are with me… – Psalm 23:4

May this unchanging truth, that our Lord and Shepherd is with us in all circumstances, at all times, change us! May God’s eternal presence give comfort to our souls and courage to our hearts as we walk with Him every step of the way through our days of sadness, surprises, simplicity, celebration and shadow!

In the love and peace, grace and truth of Jesus Christ,                                              Sylane