Psalm 23:4 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.” David knew God was the Good Shepherd, even in the valley. I want to tell you three things about valleys and three things about shadows.
1. In my valley, my God’s presence is enough. David said the reason he wasn’t afraid in the valley is because he was keenly aware of God’s presence. Hebrews 13:5b-6 says this: “He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
2. In my valley, my God’s power is perfect. David said he was comforted by the Shepherd’s rod that would protect him. The rod, the club a shepherd would carry would defend the sheep from attacks. The shepherd would overpower any enemy that came against the sheep.
3. In my valley, my God’s comfort is real. David said that God’s staff brought him great comfort. The shepherd’s staff had a crook in it so the shepherd could gently pull the sheep to himself if the sheep was getting off track or to help a sheep up if it had fallen. It’s easy to get off track in the valley, for sure. In the darkness of the valley, God lovingly will pull us closer and closer to His side. It is comforting to know that Someone is looking out for us to make sure we don’t lose our way.
The Weekly Gospel Word Three quick things about shadows.
1. Shadows aren’t reality. Shadows can make things appear larger and darker than they actually are.
2. Shadows can’t hurt you. It isn’t the shadows in the valley that are the problem. It is the fear we give in to when we focus on the shadows. Shadows can’t hurt us. We need to stop giving the shadows power over us.
3. Behind every shadow there is light somewhere. Jesus called Himself the Light of the World in John 8:12. We must keep our eyes on Him and not on the shadows in the valley. Remember, God is not only leading us into the valley, but He, the Good Shepherd, will lead us out. Believers and non-believers will all go through valleys. The beauty of my valleys as a believer isn’t the absence of the shadows, but it is the presence of my Good Shepherd. Let’s allow the Shepherd of our souls to lead us this week!
Pastor Melissa Rev. Dr. Melissa Pratt Teays Valley Church of God 6979 Teays Valley Road Scott Depot, WV 25560 304-757-9222