I love the 23rd Psalm. A lot of people focus on the first couple of verses but I love the fourth verse and beyond. Verse four says:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me.
Those words have taken on new meaning for me since December 2007 when I was diagnosed with cancer. Other health issues since then have caused to cling to these words more tightly than ever. Just this week, I experienced a backache. Now normally when you have a backache you go ahead and try to relieve it. You might think about what may have brought it on but if you can't think of anything in particular, you might simply shrug and say, "Oh well. I must have strained something, slept wrong, etc.". Then you forget about it as soon as you feel better.
However, in my case, another thought enters my head. Since back pain can be a symptom that breast cancer has returned and spread, I always wonder, "Is it cancer?" So I poke about, I monitor it and hope that it will go away for if it goes away, it's not cancer. If it persists and increases in intensity... :(
The same sort of thing happens when I lay down in my own bed at night. My brain aneurysm ruptured without any sort of warning. I didn't even know I had one and neither did anyone else! A lot of times people will experience headaches or not feel very well but I felt great that night. I had no history of headaches and have probably had a just a handful during my lifetime, none of them very severe, just some dull achy headaches that you might get with a fever or stress.
There are times when I stare down at the bed for a moment before climbing into it. There are times that I will move and suddenly catch my breath as some memory that I can't quite grab a hold of flutters through some dark recess in my mind before getting captured and locked away again.
It is in those moments that I remember Psalm 23 as well as other verses in the Bible. However, I remember something about the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Yes, God walks beside us and we do not have to fear any evil because of that but there is something more!
Verse five says:
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (Psalm 23:50)
Do you see it? Here, in that dark valley, God does something amazing. He prepares a table for us filled with good things for us to feast upon. He anoints us and fills our cup to overflowing. We, though not necessarily our body, are nourished, filled and strengthened; protected and safe in His presence by the very Hand of God. Do you see it?
Then verse six declares this beautiful promise of what will happen when we follow the Good Shepherd, even through the Valley of the Shadow of Death:
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Psalm 23:6
My friends, we must not lose sight of this no matter how difficult and dark the road we are upon seems. We must never forget that the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, penetrates the "darkness" and dispels it. He truly does transform even the Valley of the Shadow of Death into a place of light and life for He is Light and Life itself!
This is beautiful!! Both in format and content. I can understand why this Psalm means so much to you.
God Bless You.
[quote]We must never forget that the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, penetrates the "darkness" and dispels it. He truly does transform even the Valley of the Shadow of Death into a place of light and life for He is Light and Life itself! [/quote]
Absolute truth! Through Christ we walk in the light as he is in the light. Even as we walk with Christ the light is revealed - occasionally so that we can see where our intended destination is, but mostly just one step at a time. Trusting God to guide our steps is sometimes eventful but infinitely more profitable.
Awesome blog K
This is very meaningful to me right now.
All I can say is Amen and Amen!