Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil …
My 16–year–old neighbor died one sunny October day. An expert skateboarder, he was wearing his helmet and protective gear. But as he long–boarded with close friends, a truck surprised them around a blind corner. He couldn’t swerve fast enough. Suddenly the life of his single mom, and everyone he knew, changed forever.
How do we cope with the fragility of life? How do we live in the valley of the shadow of death? Some cope by eating a lot; others by not eating at all. Some drink to forget. Sometimes when a child dies, strain presses on a family until it cracks, splitting apart.
Grief shreds us into tiny parts. It’s as if our life becomes a jigsaw puzzle scattered over hundreds of miles. Weak and disoriented, we have to put the pieces of our life back together. But we don’t know how to begin.
At times like that, Psalm 23 can help hold us together. It gives us a framework to help us deal with troubles and begin rebuilding. Even with a frame, a 1,000–piece puzzle can be difficult to put together. But the comforting words of this psalm offer a sense of hope and help, a way to begin anew.
In Jesus we have the only guide, the only shepherd, who has actually experienced death himself for us. With him leading us, we don’t have to be afraid. He will restore our soul.
Father God, we ask your mighty comfort for all who grieve. Walk with them through the shadow of death, we pray. Give us your peace and strength always. In Jesus’ name, Amen
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