David’s Psalm 23 continues:
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me. (Psalms 23:4)
Wherever there are hills there are valleys. If a shepherd is to lead the flock to the next grazing area, sooner or later there will be a valley to cross. In addition, a valley is more likely to hold water than a hillside. Valleys are inevitable, and sometimes beneficial.
There are more shadows in the valley than on the hilltop. The valley gets the sun later in the morning and loses it earlier in the evening. Depending on the climate that can be a good thing or a bad thing.
The Good Shepherd knows his sheep, and leads them to green pastures, beside quiet waters, and sometimes into valleys. If the sheep is in a valley because he has simply wandered off from the flock and the care of the shepherd, the shepherd will seek out the sheep.
Two things to keep in mind then if we find ourselves in an emotional or spiritual valley: If this is of my own doing, the Good Shepherd is already coming for me! If on the other hand I can’t see how I might have contributed to this sorrow, this difficulty, then perhaps the Shepherd has led us here for awhile and is already nearby.
Can you trust the Jesus our Good Shepherd in this valley right now?
Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)
Pastor Mark loves his wife and grown children, the Word of God, and words. And coffee,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)
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