In the last few Life Palette posts, we’ve looked at the Truths that come from “A Challenge That Will Change Your Life“:
Truth #1: God Meets All My Needs
Truth #2: God Gives Me Peace
Truth #3: God Heals All My Hurts
Truth #4: God Guides Me
Today I want to continue by looking at the 5th truth from the reading challenge. (If you’ve missed the prescribe reading be sure and get started, I guarantee this 30 day challenge will change your life!)
Truth #5: God Is Always With Me
“Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and staff protect and comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 (NLT)
In Israel, there is a valley that is called the “Valley of the shadow of death”. It is a canyon with steep walls on both sides and it is very narrow. The sun lights the bottom of the canyon only when it is directly overhead. The rest of the time the bottom of the canyon is dark from the shadows. The Psalmist surely led his sheep through this canyon at different times.
The Bible speaks of other valleys: the valley of calamity, the valley of weeping, and the valley of trouble. Valleys are an inevitable part of life. The good news is that God is with us always! No matter what valley we are going through, He is there.
I remember Grandpa looking out the window quite frequently to see how the sheep were doing as they grazed in the pasture. His rod and staff were quite different than that of the Psalmist. Today shepherds have guns for protection. (It is interesting that in many circles guns are called a rod.) And modern shepherds build barns for the sheep’s safety.
Every human being goes through valleys in life. The difference for those who put their faith in Jesus is that they do not have absence of the shadow. They do however have the presence of the shepherd as they go through it. Our God is always with us, always watching over us, and always protecting and keeping us.
In the morning, Read Psalm 23 in silence when you first arise. Read carefully and slowly. Don’t rush through it so that you can say with fidelity that you did it. Instead, let the truth of each phrase capture the attention of your heart, mind and spirit. Read it again in like manner at noon. Read it once more just before going to bed at night, only this time read it out loud. Do this for thirty days consecutively and let nothing come between you and this transformation process. As Paul says in Romans 12, you will be a transformed into a “New person by changing the way you think.”
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