“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:4 (ESV)
One of the common sources of stress is loss. You can lose your job, your health, your money, your reputation, or a loved one. And the coronavirus pandemic is most likely amplifying the stress.
When people go through loss, there are two common reactions. One is fear, and the other is grief. Grief is good. Grief is the way we get through the transitions of life. In fact, if you don’t grieve, you get stuck! Grief will not kill you if you let it out.
Fear, on the other hand, can be a bad thing. Not once in the Bible does it say, “Grieve not,” “Sorrow not,” “Weep not,” or “Cry not.” What it does say is “Fear not.” And it says that 365 times! Because grief doesn’t paralyze us, but fear does.
In Psalm 23:4, David says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (ESV).
David knew shepherds always carried a rod and a staff to protect their sheep. And he knew God had the power to protect him. So David trusted God, even in the darkest valleys.
We’re collectively going through a dark valley right now, and we can choose to trust God—even in the shadows, where it doesn’t make sense and when it can seem like a long way out of the valley.
But, here’s the good news to remember about big, scary shadows. You can’t have a shadow without light. If you see a shadow, that means there is a light shining nearby.
So the key when you’re going through the valley of the shadow is to turn your back on the shadow and look at the light. Because as long as you keep your eyes on the light—Jesus, the Light of the World—the shadow won’t scare you.
Just like David, trust God in the dark valleys, and pray, “When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn” (Psalm 142:3 NLT).
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