Sometimes we can go through dark times, even to the point where everything around us seems to have a shadow of darkness. We could be having struggles with our work or facing a future without work. There could be relationship breakdowns within our family or among our close friends, we face ill health or someone we love is facing sickness. We may even be facing the death, or grieving the death, of a loved one. Maybe with all the challenges we are facing we aren`t coping the way we want to be or the way we used to. Change may be abounding and keeping it up with it all can be overwhelming. We may even be living in a country dominated by war and our future and the future of our people is uncertain.
The best description of this is found in today’s scripture - “the valley of the shadow of death.” I had a very tangible experience of this the night I fell off a cliff and lay waiting for hours among some rocks to be rescued. Death was tangible, only seconds away. Psalm 23 were the words my friends read to me as I lay waiting for my rescue. I also have walked through this valley at other times in my life. When my daughter Jasmyn died of a cot death (SIDS) at 16 weeks of age was another such a time.
If this is where you are at today let me encourage you with two things. Firstly if you are in the valley of the shadow of death, KEEP GOING! You will come out the other side. It is not a place to stay. As you keep pressing forward you will see the light at the end of this dark valley and you will smile and laugh again. Trust your future into the Lord’s safe and wonderful hands.
Secondly read again and meditate on the promise in today’s verse `I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.` In the midst of this dark valley that you are going through Jesus is with you. He promised it and He really means it. Jesus is with you. So let Him comfort and help you. Don`t be too proud to accept help from family, friends, your church or even professional help. These people may even be a part of the help that Jesus is bringing to you to help you through.
No matter what valley I have been through I have always come through it, although it was dreadful at the time. And always, in hindsight, I have been able to look back at the valley I faced and have realised how I have grown and come closer to the Lord.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death. It is really hard. I claim your promise that You are with me. I will not give up and I will keep on going. Provide for me the help that I need. Please let me see the light at the end of this dark valley and let me smile and laugh again. In Your Name, Amen.
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