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Overcoming Life's Valleys - Part 1
This morning, I woke up to a familiar passage of scripture from Psalm 23, verse 4 in my spirit. It simply states: "Yea, though, I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."
This verse played over and over like a scratched record, until I began to understand the revelation of what God was saying to me through this one verse. For I, like many of you, learned and passionately recited the entire 23 Psalm as a child. As an adult, I still treasure it in my heart.
Walking Through the Valley
Let me share with you what God shared with me about this verse.
"Yea though I walk through " - We are not stuck in the valley of the shadow of death. We are not in park, we are not in neutral; but we are walking through meaning that what we are going through is a process and our job is to continue walking through it. We can't quit. We can't stop. We can't give in- but we must continue through to God's best for our lives. Aren't you glad we are still walking, and not crawling, stumbling, or falling through the valley? What could be better, other than running through the valley? But, if we were to run, we may very well miss an important part of the lesson that we need for our victorious futures.
Fear Is Not An Option
“I will fear no evil” - Why is it that when we are facing the unknowns and uncertainties of life's valleys, our first reaction, in most cases, is fear? Fear seems to come easily; especially when all around us looks like a shadow of death. Fear comes without plan or thought. How are we able to fear no evil?
If we are to fear no evil, we MUST walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Even in the darkest of nights, it's possible to fear no evil. According to 2 Timothy 1:7, God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. So the question is, “Will we believe the evil that we face or will we believe God's word?” I will fear no evil!
We Are NOT Alone
"For thou art with me" - What more do we need? God with us, is more than the whole world against us! His abiding love is unfailing, unconditional, and everlasting.
Comfort Along The Way
"Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me" - We can hold our heads up knowing that God is with us and He's using His rod and staff to comfort us. Imagine a shepherd with his rod gently guiding his sheep as they walk so that they don't fall or stray away from the prescribed path. His staff is our support along the way. It's that encouragement that keeps us going...gently reminding us that we can make it - as long as we continue walking through life's valleys.
This doesn't always mean that we will know the direction of where we're walking; or even where we will end up for that matter. Nevertheless, we must make the conscious decision to continue walking out of the valley. Not knowing where the path leads is not nearly as important as knowing that God is with us comforting us every step along the way. His comfort should serve as a source of peace despite our circumstances.
It's those times when we can't see or feel the presence of God that Psalm 23:4 resonates the loudest in our spirits reminding us that God is with us and has provided us with everything that we need to walk through the valley.
Just know that in life, valley experiences are sure to come. The good news is, we can overcome them when we faithfully follow God's word in Psalm 23:4. Afterall, He is Jehovah Rohi, the Lord our Shepherd. In him, we have everything that we could ever want or need.
What will you do while walking through the valley of the shadow of death?
- Overcoming Life's Valleys - Part 2
Understanding how to recognize the lows of life for what they are and the purpose that they serve will enable us to triumph over them and walk victoriously.