“Yea, 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 (NKJV)
How do you get through the valleys of life? We’ve all been there at one time or another; and if not, hold on, because you will. This fallen world in which we live is a passing shadow described by David as the valley of the shadow of death. Beyond his description, David gives us insight into how we get through those valleys.
First, keep walking! If God brought you to it, He will get you through it; but, you have to keep walking. You will never get through it if you stop in the middle of the valley. Don’t quit. God isn’t done. Keep walking and before you know it, you will get to the other side of that struggle. Whether your valley was caused by circumstances beyond your control or your own failure, if you’re not dead, God ain’t done! Keep walking!
Second, recognize that whatever you are dealing with despite how real and final it may seem, it is only a shadow. Even Death Valley is only a shadow! Now, I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be struck by a shadow than the real thing! You can be struck by the shadow of a train and live to talk about it. When Mary and Martha went through Death Valley at the funeral of their brother, Lazarus, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 (NKJV)
That’s why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT) “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” Everything this side of heaven is temporary! Your valley is only a shadow despite how real or painful it seems now.
Third, remember that God is with you. You are not alone in the valley no matter how lonely you may feel. In his valley David said, “I will fear no evil; For You are with me …”
In the Christmas story we’re told the Savior’s name is Immanuel, which means “God with us.” In addition to His presence with you, David said, “Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” A rod was for defense, and a staff was for direction. Sometimes He will even use the rod to correct me. Perhaps you can relate! If you are experiencing a dark valley in your life, take comfort in the counsel of God’s Word and keep walking. The valley is only temporary. It’s just a shadow. The Eternal, Everlasting, Unfailing, Almighty God is with you!