MONDAY, AUGUST 24
“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)
VALLEYS ARE INEVITABLE
The story is told about the father of a vacationing family who came across a large sign that read, “Road Closed. Do Not Enter.” The man proceeded around the sign because he was confident it would save them time. His wife was resistant to the adventure, but there was no turning back for this persistent road warrior. After a few miles of successful navigation, he began to boast about his gift of discernment. His proud smile was quickly replaced with humble sweat when the road led to a washed-out bridge. He turned the car around and retraced his tracks to the main road. When they arrived at the original warning sign he was greeted by large letters on the back of the sign, “Welcome back, stupid!
Life is going to take us down some bad roads. The Psalmist described one such road as the “valley of the shadow of death.” The phrase is applicable to any path of gloom or sadness; any scene of trouble or sorrow; any dark and dangerous way. However, the Psalmist wants us to know that even though he had been in some of those valleys, God never stopped being a good Shepherd. All along those paths God is a safe and certain guide.
In Daniel 3:17-18, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were going through a dark valley and declared to the evil King, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
They knew God was still a good Shepherd in the valley. What valleys have you been through that almost made you walk away from or deny God’s goodness?
Praise God for still being your good Shepherd in your dark valleys. Ask Him to help you sense His presence, protection and direction through your valley.