In the Dark Valley

The darkness of this world can be overwhelming sometimes. Today is worse than yesterday, and tomorrow shall most assuredly be worse than both. Times are hard, and faith seems to be ever more scarce. Even so, for those who hold fast to the Lord, they shall find comfort:

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.” – Psalm 23:4

In this life we walk a hair’s breadth away from death and ruin at any given moment. Fear permeates our culture like a bad infection, and we are almost trained from childhood to be neurotic, perpetually suspicious of all those around us. Anxiety is a way of life, even if it’s often too subtle to realize initially. When is the next attack coming? What storm is brewing now? Is there a pandemic being born at this moment in some nameless, third-world backwater that will steal my life away? Who knows what stirs in the dark, and just the same, what darkness stirs in the hearts of fallen men?

I will tell you with confidence that, no matter what terrible matters swirl on the tides of this existence, our Good Shepherd sees all and is standing over us in protection. The fear of death does nothing but rob you of peace. To linger without peace may in some cases be worse that that which is feared in the first place. Even so, stepping forward into that dark valley of woe, we know that He is with us, and His mighty arms wield the rod and the staff, sovereignty and protection. His will, not mine, I will walk along those shadowy paths before Him trusting that whatever comes, He is with me, and in that truth is found an unyielding comfort.

Though fiends and the feral packs of the night may circle, snarling from the inky blackness beyond, my faith is the eternal light of Truth, the Word shining like a bright light against the darkness, holding at bay all that would steal comfort and peace from my life. He is there for us all, walking with each of us as we traverse our own dark valleys, and as we look to Him, our focus on our good Shepherd, nothing else seems to matter, and the calls of the wicked grow dimmer as they creep back from whence they came in futility and frustration.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39

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