Yea, 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 wrote the most cherished Psalm 23. He was once a shepherd boy and saw his relationship with God through the eyes of a shepherd. The shepherd had to provide food and water for the flock. He provided rest and protected the flock from wild animals, from wolves, bears, lions and even other humans. There were always dangers lurking, but the abiding presence of the shepherd brought comfort to the sheep.
At the time David wrote Psalm 23, he was probably going through a valley of death experience. Maybe he was feeling death was near or was experiencing the gloom and doom of life in the valley. David went through hardship, difficulty, pain and suffering. He spoke often about these experiences.
At some point, we all walk through the valley of the shadow of death as well. The valley represents times of economic hardship, worry and anxiety about a loved one, enemies from within and without, or betrayal, which can be a very dark valley.
Maybe you’re in the valley right now. A negative report from your doctors, a separation from a spouse, a broken relationship, a teenage pregnancy or a child on drugs. Maybe your dark valley is a problem on your job, some financial loss or even your reputation. You may find yourself in the valley of the shadow of discouragement or the valley of the shadow of debt, or the valley of the shadow of depression. It could be the valley of the shadow of conflict.
The most frustrating thing about the valley of the shadow of death is the uncertainty. You have no way of knowing how long the walk will be, what is lurking unseen and who else is waiting in ambush. But the point about the valley of these shadows is that shadows should not hurt. As someone has said, the shadow of a dog cannot bite nor can the shadow of a truck knock you down. The shadow of a sword cannot pierce through you nor can a shadow stop your advancement.
Whenever there’s a shadow, it’s only because there’s light somewhere. You cannot have a shadow where there’s no light. The secret of valley times is to locate the light. Jesus said “I am the Light of the world’. This is the Light that walks with us through the darkest of valleys. We never walk alone. The Lord Himself, the Great Shepherd is with us. Just to have His Presence and trust Him to lead us through the valley is our greatest need.
The greatest school of faith is located in the depths of the valley of shadows, not on the mountain top. It’s in the walk through the valley that life’s best lessons are learnt and to walk speaks of moving in a certain direction; calm and confident. Notice that David said he was walking through the valley and not walking in the valley. Maybe it’s time to turn your back on the fearful shadows and look to Him who is the Light of the world.
The God of the mountain is still God in the valley. Walk Through!
♬I Am Not Alone by Kari Jobe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow4OfW4DP9s