Our theme for this month: “You Gotta Keep Dancing”
Our Bible verse for today: “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 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “God is with you even in the deepest darkest valley”
Have you ever walked through “the valley of the shadow of death”? Some of you have literally been there. There are those reading this right now who have been in actual combat situations with bullets flying, bombs exploding, and people dying. There is also at least one former police officer who was shot at but survived.
Some of you have survived an illness that could have ended in your death. It was touch-and-go for a while and they weren’t sure if you would live or die. You were in the valley of the shadow of death.
For others of us there were times when it only felt like that. Our lives weren’t really in jeopardy but the struggle we were in was a deep dark valley and it seemed endless. In his book, “You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help For Your Turbulent Times”, Pastor Max Lucado tells of the time he was in the grocery store and he ran into a middle-aged woman who was a member of his church, but who had not been in church in a while. Max asked her if she was okay. She hesitated a moment and then she began to tremble. She told him that her husband of twenty years had left her and the three kids for another woman. Their lives were now a train wreck and she didn’t know what they were going to do. Max prayed with her and then he said “You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good. In the meantime don’t be foolish or naïve. But don’t despair either. With God’s help you will get through this.”
That’s good advice and it’s true for you too. It’s also what David was teaching in Psalm 23:4. In the middle of the deepest and darkest valley in life, even if it is the literal valley of the shadow of death, God is with you, He is caring for you, He is protecting you, and He is helping you. Just be sure you are walking through the valley with Him. Don’t go off on your own. We need God all the time, but especially in those times when the valley is deep and dark and dangerous.
I don’t know how the situation turned out for the lady Max encountered in the grocery store. I also don’t know how your situation will turn out. But I do know God. And I know that He loves you and He cares for you. And I know that He will be there for you every step of the way. He will protect you (His rod) and He will guide you through it (His staff). I hope that truth gives you great comfort.