Every October, the memories from 2010 come flooding back. As the leaves get more colorful, the nights get longer, and the mornings get chillier, it reminds me of the year I found a lump, had a biopsy, waited for results, and then heard the doctor say a word I’d never heard of before: angiosarcoma. When I googled this rare cancer, I was struck with the reality that I might not live to see my kids grow up. I spent the next several months battling through the valley of the shadow of death.
Your experience with that valley may be different. Whether it’s a life-threatening illness, heartbreaking loss, or the grief that comes from the horrific current events in this world, we all encounter the reality of suffering in some way. So when we read Psalm 23:4, it’s not hypothetical.
Even if this verse is familiar, take a minute to read it slowly and absorb this promise from God’s Word:
“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)
The psalmist drew comfort from these four words: “You are with me.” We have peace in the midst of suffering because God is always with us and will never abandon us.
This verse also tells us that as we endure the pain of suffering, we have nothing to fear. Through our tears and our heartbreak, we can have confidence that Christ conquered cancer, sickness, death, and loss when He rose from the grave. We can say with the apostle Paul, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55).
Because our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, experienced death for us, we will never walk through death’s shadow alone. Because our Shepherd suffered for us, we can face suffering without fear. Because our Shepherd demonstrated His love for us on the cross, we have confidence that He will always be there to comfort us and will one day wipe away all our tears.
No matter what you face this week, your Shepherd is with you in your suffering.Share