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Darkest Valley

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 NIV

When the boys were young, we would drive to the Midwest to visit family each summer vacation. On one of these trips, we visited Bluespring Cavern. The guide took us in a flat-bottomed boat through the cave. At the halfway point, they turned the boat around, then turned off the lights, plunging us into absolute darkness. While we couldn't see the people around us, it was reassuring simply knowing they were there. Few of us would have wanted to be in this situation alone.

David tells a different story of darkness from the viewpoint of a sheep. As a former shepherd, he understood that when sheep are alone, they grow anxious. But at the sight of a familiar face or voice of the shepherd, they are reassured and calmed; they know they will be protected and their needs provided.

Like our experience in the cave, although the darkness kept us from seeing the people nearby, their presence still reassured us. Though we can't see God, we feel his closeness and trust him to lead us from our dark places.

Good Shepherd God, thank you for your continual reassuring presence. When we walk through our dark valleys, we don't walk alone. You are with us each step of the way, guiding and protecting us. Help us remember to listen for your voice and be responsive to your touch that prompts us to safe places. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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