“Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me” (Psalm 23:4, Amplified Bible).
I read something interesting about Psalm 23. In the first 3 verses, David refers to God in the send person, i.e. “He lets me lie down . . .”, “He leads me . . .” “He makes me lie down . . .”
But starting in verse 4, the pronoun changes to You. What gives?
Verse 4 is where the Valley of the Shadow of Death lies.
In other words, Yahweh God became personal to David in the midst of walking through the valley. That’s where David’s faith deepened in the middle of his depression and discouragement.
If it were up to me, I’d rather skip all the valleys and go from mountaintop to mountaintop. But the valley is where I grow and learn. The valley is where my faith goes from theoretical to experiential. The valley is where God truly becomes personal to me.
Everyone goes through a valley at some point. It’s part of the journey. But God is with us there. He has already gone before us through the valley and also goes with us.
The good news is that every valley comes to an end. Every night turns into day at some point. Every bad day still only lasts 24 hours. But better still, God is with us though every valley, night, and bad day. Every single one of them.
When anxiety and despair seem overwhelming, it can be hard to feel God’s presence, but that’s when you trust what you know to be true about God over what you may or may not feel. After all, feelings lie, but God never does.
“Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord” (Psalm 23:6, Amplified Bible).