I have been thinking for quite some time about Psalm 23. There are a few versions that I particularly like, which I have copied and pasted below. Many times in each of our life we experience loss, change, or as the new living translation puts it: our darkest hour. What is your valley of the shadow of death? Many of you may not be facing a darkest hour now,but have at some point in your life. It could be the loss of an ideal, poor health, divorce, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, financial woes, lonliness, depression etc. Do you feel you are all alone in the dark? Sometimes I have. Sometimes I have felt overwelmed, unable to sustain composure, scared to move forward. But each time I am given a little more strength, some little bits of comfort- and so I know that Jesus is right there with me, in the darkness, guiding me- and using this experience to bring honor to his name. It used to blow my mind that he can use even our darkest times to honor him. But in my recent experiences, I am beginning to understand. Sometimes it is in those darkest hours that we need to guide our faith back to him - it is those darkest hours that refine who we are, what is important,what we are living for.It is in those darkest hours that we can perform our greatest duties as the body of Christ- to love our brother- to help him bear his burden.I will give thanks to God for this darkest hour. THough I may not understand why I have been chosen to walk this path- I do know that I can glorify his name in this time. That this journey will honor his name- and he will be with me each step of the way. He can use this darkest hour to refine me, to undo who I think that I am, and to build me into who He wants me to be. This darkest hour will give me experience and understanding into things that will help me shoulder the burden for others who will also walk through this valley of the shadow of death. I may not be able to see the end of the journey, or how I will have the strength to make it there, but He will guide me and give me enough strength for each day.And I will rest in that.
Psalm 23 New Living Translation
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
A psalm of David. From Psalm 23 New International Version
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.