“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me.” Psalm 23:4a (NKJV)
It was a trendy restaurant with bird cages hung across the ceiling, old church pews for seats and an eclectic menu. I was with my husband Phil, so everything was fantastic.
Fantastic until I entered the ladies’ room, that is.
The decorator carried the urban barn theme into the bathroom. All wood and brick and totally funky and eccentric and … confusing. Here’s why.
I began losing my eyesight as a teen due to a disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Now, four decades later, my world is totally dark.
So, having to navigate through all that creativity alone was hard! Straight lines and predictable layouts are much easier.
I used my cane and ran my hand across the wooden doors until I found an opening. But the stall was at a weird angle and, after I made my way into it, I realized I couldn’t find my way out of it. Every wall in the stall felt the same.
Evidently, when I entered the stall, the door swung behind me and clicked itself shut. But getting out? Well, that was a problem.
Where was the latch?!
Where was the handle?!
Where was the door?!
There were so many hinges and handles inside the stall, I couldn’t determine which were decorative and which could get me out of that cage of confusion.
An overwhelming dread came over me, not knowing how I got so turned around and how I could get out of there. Phil, having heard me from outside the restroom door, poked his head in and asked, “Honey, are you OK?”
I’m not sure what I said, but it was obvious I was not OK. So he marched right into that women’s restroom and knocked on the outside of the stall door until I found it.
When I pulled the latch and tumbled out of the door, I was fighting anxiety.
He asked what happened. But I didn’t know, except that I’d gotten disoriented and felt stuck, afraid, confused and vulnerable.
We all have those things that make us feel afraid, confused and vulnerable. A difficult relationship, discouraging situation, chronic or fatal diagnosis, or even painful memories. I’ll just call them valleys.
And, when we find ourselves in the valley, we can feel vulnerable and long for a rescue, a shelter … a Shepherd for our souls.
The Lord is our Shepherd, and He is with us in our valleys.
Valleys might bring out our fear, but they also bring us closer to our Shepherd.
King David reminds us that “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me” (Psalm 23:4a).
So, if you’re in a valley, you might not be able to get out of it. But here are some ways to get through it:
1. Look to the Shepherd.
Oh sister, we are just as easily rattled as sheep! So when we’re startled by situations and looking for a way out, we can look to our Shepherd first. He’s with us in our valley. He promises He’ll never leave us nor forsake us.
That means you will never, ever walk through a valley alone. So, if it’s tough and if you’re afraid, don’t look for the exit; look for the Shepherd. He is with you.
2. Listen to the Shepherd
His voice is His Word. Even in your darkest valley, the light of His Word can give comfort and clarity. Listen to Scripture, and be comforted by His presence and promises when you’re in a valley.
Pick just one or two Scriptures to meditate on and see how His Word will be the light you need.
3. Lean on the Shepherd
Valleys make us feel weak. But when you’re weak, He is strong in and for you. And if He leads you through valleys that seem too difficult, He will carry you.
It’s okay to feel weak and need strength — we’re just sheep who need a Shepherd. So many things in this life are over our heads and beyond our abilities. But nothing we face is too hard for Him.
So, don’t rely on your own strength. Lean on God’s instead — He will be enough to get you through your valley.
Dear Lord, when I can’t change my valley, help me change my perspective. Use my valleys to create everlasting good for my life and in it. Help me look to You, listen to Your voice, and lean hard on You today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 95:7a, “… for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” (NIV)
Psalm 61:2, “From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (NIV)
Do you ever feel like you’re running on empty? You try so hard to keep it all together, and yet, no matter how busy you are or how much you’re needed, it still doesn’t feel like enough? Don’t miss our next Online Bible Study, Psalm 23: The Shepherd with Me, by Jennifer Rothschild. You’ll learn how to find contentment in the goodness of Jesus and look to Him to supply everything you need … even when life is exhausting.The study begins TODAY. Join us!
Receive daily encouragement from Jennifer when you connect with her on Facebook and Instagram. Plus, receive weekly encouragement to live the “I can” life on her 4:13 Podcast.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What’s one Scripture you will choose today to be a light in your valley? Share it with us in the comments!
© 2019 by Jennifer Rothschild. All rights reserved.
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