Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Psalm 23:4 NKJV
Our destination lay just a little over a mile away.
After hiking three miles and setting up camp, my daughter and I headed for the summit of Sam’s Knob. Getting there required passing various shadows, some of which could have proved dangerous. We passed the shadow of the creek, which we rock-hopped. We passed through wild berry patches, and we knew what animal loved to feast on them. We didn’t care to see him—at least, not close up. And we climbed a steep, rocky path before reaching the summit, rocks on which we could have easily injured ourselves.
When we finally reached the summit, we agreed the journey through the valley was worth it. Three hundred- and sixty-degree views greeted us, and we marveled at God’s beauty. Although thunderstorms dotted the surrounding peaks, they could not spoil our joy.
As summer neared, David and other shepherds made their way to the mountain peaks so their sheep could find fresh grass on which to graze. Getting there required passing through mountain valleys where robbers and predators lurked. The summit is probably where David was when the prophet Samuel visited his father’s house to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king of Israel. David did not fear while on his journeys to the mountain peaks. He knew his Shepherd would protect him.
Shadows make the things they represent appear larger than they are. Nor are the shadows the real thing—although they represent reality. Shadows cannot hurt me, although some of the things they represent might. The shadow of a tree is harmless; the shadow of a bear lurking in the berry path might not be.
Although mountain valleys are beautiful, I often must pass through difficult shadows before reaching the summit. Unless I take a helicopter, no other way exists to reach the peak without passing through the valley.
Our Shepherd gently guides us through the valleys of danger, discouragement, depression, fear, and anxiety—protecting and leading us each step of the way.
The shadow we all want to avoid is death, but that, too, is only a shadow. When we know Christ as our Shepherd, death becomes only that moment when we close our eyes to open them in heaven. It cannot harm us, nor does it have any power over us. Jesus defeated death, and when He is our Shepherd, we will too.
Death is powerless because God has forgiven all our sins, He has released us from condemnation, and He has accepted us into His family. We have no reason to fear.
Don’t let life’s shadows frighten you. Your Shepherd will lead you safely through each one.
Prayer: Father, we thank You for guiding us through the valleys to the mountaintops.
Tweetable: Do you fear the shadows?
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