In the Valley of the Shadow, Look to God’s Light
By Rick Warren
“Even 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 (ESV)
Loss is a common source of stress. You can lose your job, your health, your money, your reputation, or a loved one. But, even in the greatest season of loss, you’ll never lose God’s presence.
When people go through loss, you often see two common reactions: grief or fear. Grief is good. Grief is the way you get through the transitions of life. In fact, if you don’t grieve, you get stuck!
On the other hand, fear is a bad thing. Not once does the Bible say, “Grieve not,” “Mourn not,” “Weep not,” or “Cry not.” But it does say, “Fear not.” And it says that 365 times! Grief doesn’t paralyze you, but fear does.
David says in Psalm 23:4, “Even 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” (ESV).
Shepherds always carried a rod and a staff to protect their sheep. In the same way, David trusted that God had the tools to protect him—even in his darkest valleys.
Maybe you’re going through the valley of the shadow right now. Perhaps you’re in the valley of the shadow of death. Or it may be the valley of the shadow of debt, conflict, depression, or discouragement.
Shadows are scary. Do you remember being afraid of shadows as a kid? I’ve learned a few things about shadows.
First, shadows can’t hurt you.
Second, shadows are always bigger than the source.
And here’s more good news: You can’t have a shadow without light. So the key to going through the valley of the shadow is to turn your back on the shadow and look at the light. As long as you keep your eyes on the light—Jesus, the light of the world—the shadow won’t scare you.
That’s how you go through the valley of the shadow of death. That’s how you lower your stress. You trust God in the dark valleys—just like David, who prayed, “When I am ready to give up, he knows what I should do” (Psalm 142:3 GNT).
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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