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.
During this weekend's message, Pastor Micah was sharing with us Psalm 23:4 and he used the above three words to describe where all of us may be right now. Either we are in a valley, we just got out of a valley, or we are about to go through one. When he asked for a show of hands for how many are going through one right now, about a third of the hands went up. If I took a poll right now of my closest friends, it would probably be about the same amount. Everywhere we look, if we are truly looking, there is hurt people who need Jesus. Not only do we need to point them to Jesus, we need to point them to the HOPE of Jesus.
I think when we are going through these valleys, the main thing that usually trips me up is fear. Fear of not knowing how things are going to turn out, and the fear is almost always worse that the reality. Our minds can go to the worst case scenarios pretty fast if we let it.
Personally, I think when we do face these "out of our control" fearful situations, the first thing we need to do is search God's word for what is truth. If his Word tells me that "He will never leave me or forsake me" then the worst case is...I STILL HAVE JESUS. That is not a bad thing, that is the BEST thing. Second, I try to check out my own obedience. Do I have sin that needs to be brought forth before God. Is there an area of my life that I am not surrending to God's will. Sometimes, but not always, I am not being obedient and God is trying to work on me and get my attention. Lastly, when I know I am seeking God 100% and still a turn around is not occuring, I then earnestly try to trust God for my good knowing that the time I am experiencing is only for a season. I also try to remember that anything God allows to happen to me and my family is ultimately going to be used for good because of His love for me.
I know that you may be thinking that it is easy for me to write this because I'm not truly walking through a valley at the moment. Yes, that is true, but these words are going to be what gets me through my next one. Thinking on the things of God and consistently learning and studying his Word when I'm doing well, will make it so much easy to turn to Him for the serious big valleys that may be right around the corner.
Are you facing a valley that seems like the shadow of death today? Or does it just feel like that? Please know that you have a Saviour who is more that ready to walk with you and lift you up to higher ground.
Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."