Psa.23:4 – 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.
This verse has been a major comfort to dying believers for 3000 years. The amazing thing about God’s word is that it applies to many different circumstances. Even though this verse speaks of death I believe it also refers to the darkest of days in our lives when we may fear death or even wish we were dead. For the non Christian, we face the darkest days alone. It’s funny how the friends thin out and disappear when the going gets really tough, not so with the Lord. He is often more present when you face the valley of the shadow of death. Not only does He give us promises that He will bring us through, He gets in the middle of the mess with us. When we are at our weakest, He will show Himself strongest in our lives. Here are some thoughts from Albert Barnes on this amazing promise.
“Thou wilt be with me. Though invisible, thou wilt attend me. I shall not go alone; I shall not be alone. The psalmist felt assured that if God was with him he had nothing to dread there. God would be his companion, his comforter, his protector, his guide. How applicable is this to death! The dying man seems to go into the dark valley alone. His friends accompany him as far as they can, and then they must give him the parting hand. They cheer him with their voice until he becomes deaf to all sounds; they cheer him with their looks until his eye becomes dim, and he can see no more; they cheer him with the fond embrace until he becomes insensible to every expression of earthly affection, and then he seems to be alone. But the dying believer is not alone. His Saviour God is with him in that valley, and will never leave him. Upon His arm he can lean, and by His presence he will be comforted, until he emerges from the gloom into the bright world beyond.”
What kind of dark valley have you wandered into? You are not alone. As the Lord told Paul in the midst of his persecutions, “My grace is sufficient”. Sufficient ? I say more than sufficient. He is my light in darkness, my strength in my weakness, my wisdom when confused. He is my portion and my joy and more than enough no matter what valley I go through. Remember, it only the “shadow” of death.