August 24, 2014

Comforted by God's Word

Psalm 119:73-80

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
—Psalm 23:4

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Diane had pushed herself to be successful in a high-powered job for an international firm. In addition, she had puts lots of energy into helping her mother through a difficult transition. Then she had a serious medical problem that needed surgery. She thought she could handle it all, but the stresses showed up first in panic attacks and then in a full-blown depression.

As she lay in bed, only one thing held spiritual darkness and despair at bay. Over and over she made the words of Psalm 23 her prayer. The image of the Lord as her strong and caring Shepherd reassured her of his steadfast love, and the promises of God’s wonderful provision and protection brought her through this dark valley.

When all her other resources seemed to fail, Diane held on firmly to God’s Word. She experienced his gracious answer to this prayer: “May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.”

Even when her job disappeared, Diane and her husband were able to trust the words of Psalm 23:6: “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.” And indeed the Lord took care of all their needs and gave them new reasons to praise and serve him. What is your comfort in life and in death?

Lord Jesus, you went through the valley all the way to death to be our good Shepherd. Take care of us now, and bring us to live with you forever, we pray. Amen.

About the author — David Zandstra

David Zandstra is a retired pastor living in Marietta, Georgia, having served five churches from New Jersey to California. Along with other ministries, he counsels clients of a pregnancy resource center. He acknowledges his indebtedness to the training and resources of Peacemaker Ministries. David and his wife, Margie, have three children and six grandchildren.

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