Valley of the Shadow of Death
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalms 24:4
20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Amen. Matthew 28: 20
These two verses provide great peace comfort and reassurance. What better hope do we have than to know that God himself will be with us in our times of troubles and tribulations. I cannot imagine any situation where these two verses would not bring comfort.
“Valley of the shadow of death,” “even unto the end of the world.” these to segments give me a sense of danger, of uncertainty. Not in God but in the types of situations we will be in. They have a connotation of dread. If you’re older than a child, you realize that there will be times when you are in a valley of distress. It is as dependable as breathing air. As long as you breathe air, you know that challenges will arise.
As wonderfully reassuring and peace providing as these verse are I have to ask a question. How did we get into the valley?
A few years ago I had a heart attack. One of the nurses that tended to me referred to it as the widow maker. The inference is that most people with my type of heart attack died. By God’s will, I am still here. One of the questions one might ask when in this situation is how did this happen? I did not ask that question. I already new the answer. Back 15-20 years before my heart attack my primary physician had prescribed Lipitor. He prescribed Lipitor me due to my family history and my high cholesterol. He recommended I start taking medication to prevent me from having a heart attack at age 55. Unfortunately for me, he was wrong I had my heart attack when I was 53 years old. Had I heeded his advice I probably would have not had the heart attack.
I had the heart attack not based on what God had done but in spite of what He had done. God had place someone in my life to guided me to the proper course of action, I chose to ignore it. I entered that valley because I chose it. As I look back in my life, I realize I willingly and often knowingly walk into the tribulations of my life. There are isolated events in life that cause you to go through valleys where you are not the cause of it. Things like hurricanes, volcanic eruptions or other natural disasters cause you to suffer in non-self inflicted ways. Absent of unique circumstances we are free to pick our poison and often that is precisely what we do.
Most of the time we chose the the wrong path. We participate in the wrong action. We chase after the wrong dream. Though you make the wrong choices and end up in the wrong places. God says, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” God didn’t cause it. He sent people to help you. He may have even shown you a better way. With all He does to provide a better for you way; He will still be with you when you walk through the valley you have chosen.
What God is saying is when all other forsake you because of your bad choices and decisions I will be with you. I will not abandon you. The truth is He is always with you. You may not know Him, recognize or acknowledge Him but He is still with you even now. When you are in the valley when you are all alone. When you do not know what to do. If you call on the one that is always with you, He will hear you and will help you. He is with you before the valley, during and after. He wants to keep us from the valley, but when we are there, he will not say I told you so and leave you to your own devices. He will continue to go with you “unto the end of the world.”