Psalm 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

When we are in those dark and shadowy places, we don’t have to be afraid, because we don’t go alone.  Even if it seems so frightening, we don’t have to fear, because evil can’t reach us with our Lord so near.  Passing through those days, those seasons, those places with no sunshine, we have a light in Him.  Maybe we can’t see Him, but He reaches out His staff to touch us and let us know He is still there.  In those moments where He is veiled from us, we can have the reassurance that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Sometimes our Shepherd leads us through a valley, and we may not be able to see a way out.  We may not understand why we have to take that path or where we will end up.  But we have to know that our faithful  Shepherd is trustworthy even then.  Sometimes we just have to be willing to follow Him anyway.  And we look to Him for comfort and can know that He is still good even if what we are going through is not.  He is still full of love and grace in the midst of hardship.

So we can be confident and fear no evil because even those trips through the darkest valley are meant for our good.  Maybe we come out stronger on the other side.  Maybe we come out knowing our Lord a little bit better and trusting Him a little bit more from having endured our time there.  Maybe we learn some things about ourselves and about Him.  Maybe we’re humbled a bit.  Maybe we grow.  And maybe that valley leads us to a place that helps us to appreciate the journey and what it produces in us.

The climb out of the valley may seem daunting, but Jesus goes with us every step.  Our time there may seem like it will never end, but one day we will emerge into the sunlight again.  Our path is ordained by the Shepherd who leads us.  And He knows what is best for us even when we can’t understand.  So may we trust Him even when we can’t see Him and know by His promises, His voice, and His touch that He is near to us in those darkest valleys.

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