"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death"
That statement is so famous and so full of timeless principle and meaning – that thousands of years after it was written – even Notorious B.I.G. laced them inside a rap song.
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;”.
Written by King David and found in Psalm 23, they are proven to be one of the most quoted and famous verses in the entire Bible. Why? Because they infuse courage and hope deep into the soul of every fearful set of eyes that reads them. Let’s face it – our fears, that is - we all have them.
And I find two concepts that lie within this verse extremely fascinating:
King David used the words “walk through the valley” and not “to the valley”. There’s a big difference! The valley is never the final destination. We are going through, not going to. Whatever you’re going through today, it’s not final. Fear is not final. Failure is not final. And we all go through valleys of life. There’s an old Arab parable that says: “All sunshine and no rain makes a desert!”
If life never took you through the valleys you’d be a dried up prune and there would be no depth or maturity to your life. Life is a mixture of valleys and moutaintops, successes and failures, victories and defeats and pains and pleasures.
The second concept that slaps me in the face from this verse is the phrase “The Shadow of Death”; and not, “death” itself.
Ahhh, shadows. There are three things I’d like to bring to light (no pun intended) about shadows:
First, shadows are always bigger and darker than reality. I remember when my daughter Jazzlyn was two years old and was laying down for bedtime. She started to scream in fear! I ran to her room and her eyes were the size of golf balls! She was pointing at the wall and there he was: a big, scary, dark, monster stuck to her wall! He was creepy! Only it wasn’t a he – it was she! Indeed, her favorite baby doll was sitting on the ground casting the shadow of a scary giant! Shadows are always bigger and darker than reality. And sometimes the greatest things in life that await our arrival are on the other side of those shadows and fears.
Second, shadows have never hurt anyone. I’ve had many jet shadows cast over top of me and I’ve never been hurt – not once.
And third, where there is a shadow – there is always a light. Look for that light! Turn your eyes, turn your focus, and turn your body and face the light and the shadow will fall behind you.
Senior Pastor, ImpactChurch.com
Team Pastor, Phoenix Suns
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