The Valley

"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

I find myself walking through the valley. In all honesty, I'm not sure that I'm walking at all. I can barely stand at this point. This is beyond journeying through - I'm frozen. Paralyzed. Numb doesn't seem appropriate because the aching in my soul is beyond comprehension. I am seeking comfort.

The other day E found the plastic sheep from his nativity set. He was on a mission to find the accompanying shepherd because, for this little boy, things always go together. He asked about the shepherd. "Does he take care of the sheep?" Yes, he does. He make sure he doesn't get lost...and when he does get lost, he goes and finds him.

So when I am lying motionless in the valley - or rather what feels like the pit of despair - can I trust that my Shepherd will come and find me? Do I believe He will restore my soul? Can I know that He will lead me to a safe place where I can rest?

Oh how I must trust in this!

"Hear my cry O God; Give heed to my prayer.  From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is overwhelmed.  Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy.  Let me dwell in Your tent forever, let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings."  Psalm 61:1-4

From the ends of the earth - from the very outskirts of the world, when I feel all alone, abandoned, separated and segregated from everyone and everything. That is where I call - I cry out. When my heart is overwhelmed. When my own world is shattered. I pray for Him to be my refuge. I seek Him as my source of strength. I look to Him to take me to the rock - to lead me out of the valley and to the mountain top.

He heals the brokenhearted
He binds their wounds
He is love

Do I believe that He will heal even my broken heart?

He holds his children through the night
He comforts the lonely and hears their cry
He is love

Do I trust He hears and holds me even in my loneliness?

He comforts those who mourn. He gives peace. He is a refuge and strong tower. When I can't - He is.

And then He says it, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

How can I be strong and courageous when I'm facing the unknown? How can I find strength when I feel empty and broken? How can I display courage when I am afraid to the point of being paralyzed by fear?

Because He is with me. Wherever I go. Even in the valley. He is.



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