What does it feel like to walk through the valley of death’s shadow?
I cannot claim to have had a near-death experience, although I may have seen some close calls. Maybe we’ve all escaped death’s claws more times than we even realize. Who knows?
But when I think about the 23rd Psalm, especially the passage about the Good Shepherd leading us through the “valley of the shadow of death,” I tend to ponder the losses of loved ones. When someone that means a lot to us passes away, are we not caught in the sad shadow?
Does the shadow of death pertain to the chill we feel when death claims another, or is it the trembling fear that hits us when we sense our own lives may be threatened?
Either way, isn’t God the Comforter?
Just this morning, a massive chain of powerful, fast-moving storms swept across the American Midwest. Sirens blared. Piercing beep alarms broke through TV programming.
Weather experts reported sightings of funnel clouds and large hailstones, as the terrible tempests blasted through county after county.
Huddled in the basement, we watched the weather reports and waited for a reprieve. Would the storm strike us? And if it did, what damages might it do? Were we in danger?
Peeking out the windows, we watched the shadow of the storm pass over our house, like a black curtain, suspended from the sky.
Praise God, we were spared from the storms. Others perhaps were not.
Yet, God says He is the Comforter.
Today’s Scripture affirms this promise.
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)
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