Psalm 23:4. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Someone whose husband recently died said to me, “I never realized the twenty-third psalm was about me. I thought it was about my husband, but it’s not. I’m the one walking through the valley of the shadow of death.”
For each of us, there comes a time when we realize we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. It might be the death of a loved one, the recognition of our own mortality, the death of a dream, the end of a relationship, a diagnosis, or a failure. Whatever the loss may be, it highlights the fragility and temporal nature of this earthly life.
We are always living under the shadow of death. What comfort is there in this darkness? Why not fear evil? The psalmist says there is something of God upholding us—that God is with us in the midst of the dark valleys of this life. Maybe what the psalmist knows (and what we often forget) is that there can be no shadow without light. The ever-present shadow of death reveals and points to the ever-present light of God.
*Originally written for and published by Forward Day by Day.