January 09, 2010

In the Deepest Gorge

Psalm 23

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil …
Psalm 23:4


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

About the author — Kevin Adams

Dr. Kevin Adams has served as a church planter/pastor in the Sacramento, California, area since 1991. He and his wife, Gerry, began Granite Springs Church in Lincoln, and this congregation has helped to nourish several other church plants. Kevin also serves as a director of the Sierra Leadership Network, a training program for new church leaders.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!