The Psalmist David writes in Psalms, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death."(Psalm 23:4) Notice how David writes, "Even though I walk..." He does not say IF I walk, but rather he writes as if he already knows that he will go through a valley.
One thing about knowing what lies ahead is that it gives us time to prepare.
For instance, when I know that friends are coming over for dinner, I have time to make the preparations. I go to the store, I bake a pie the night before, I make sure the house is straightened and that there is plenty of cokes on hand to drink. David, as a shepherd of a flock had to make some preparations:
Depending on the time of year, a shepherd would have to move his sheep from one geographical place to another. In the springtime, the sheep would graze down near the Jordan River, but when summer came the shepherds would steer their flocks towards the hills, where the temperatures were cooler and there was more grass to graze on. In Jerasulem, there was a valley known as the "valley of the shadow of death". I read that it was about 4.5 miles long and 1500 feet deep. The passageway was narrow and I would imagine that David had quite the challenge to manuever his flock of sheep thru this area.
But David knew what the valley was like, and he was prepared to get thru it safely!
The valleys or difficulties that we face are no different. Sometimes it almost seems unbearable or unpassable, but with preparation and faith I believe that we can safely cross thru. In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question, "When you experience difficulty, what is the first thing that you do?" The top 3 responses were:
1. 61% of those voting said that they get stressed out!
2. 38% voted and said that the first thing they do is pray!
3. 15% responded and said that they cry!
No doubt we all experience all three of those things when hard times hit us. But David shows me in the 23rd Psalm exactly how we can prepare our hearts for these trying times...
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)
David says, " I fear no evil". God never intended for the believer to be ruled and troubled by fear! We must REFUSE to become discouraged in our time of difficulty. David is not denying that evil exists, however, he simply refuses to fear it.
Going thru the narrow passageway, the flock of sheep learned to trust their shepherd. When we have confidence in the Shepherd (our God), we can walk through our valley, not run, not stumble, not get worked up in a panic frenzy ... but trust His leading!
The Shepherd is watching over His flock, and it is not His desire for one to fall away. He has you in His palm. Are you in a diffiucult situation right now? Be prepared to walk thru this valley and trust His leading, He will not let you fall!
Sharing God's love and truth thru devotional writing here and across the web. My heart is to bring hope,love and forgiveness to those that feel broken and lost. I was once broken and lost but I am so glad that God didn't let me stay that way. Come along with me on this adventure of faith and may you also find the hope and love that you are longing for! :)