Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
When I help young people prepare to profess their faith, I try to instill in them the importance of learning Scripture. For example, we have them memorize Psalm 23 because we want it stored deep in their souls for times of trouble.
Everyone will eventually experience a dark valley in which they will especially sense the need for Jesus, the good shepherd. This psalm speaks of the shepherd who leads us to comfortable places, refreshes our souls, and lavishes us with love and blessings. And when we face times of suffering caused by disappointments or devastating blows, our protector comes to help and comfort us.
Our friend Sid had a massive heart attack recently after running with his granddaughter. A security guard revived his dormant heart with CPR. For weeks, Sid was in an induced coma on the brink of death, but by the grace of God and two heart surgeries, he recovered. Sid’s testimony is that reciting Psalm 23 in the midst of pain and sleeplessness brought healing to his soul.
When we enter the darkest valleys amid serious illness, stress, loss, worry, and other struggles, we can find much comfort in the prayer of Psalm 23. We have the blessed assurance that God is with us and cares for us. We have no need to fear.
Lord, you know how fear can grip us when we face the shadows and dark valleys of life. Assure us of your presence that leads us and protects us when we can’t see an escape route. Amen.
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