Remembering (Part 6)

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:1-4 ESV).

This is the last of our brief look into the “remembering” of Deuteronomy. I have chosen a very familiar reading for today. David wrote this psalm while he was traveling a particularly challenging path in his life. Yet, he comes to this incredible thought that no part of the path, even “the valley of the shadow of death,” is too much for our Shepherd. Even there we have no need to fear. He is with us and that is the message that relieves us of any questions concerning our safe arrival home.

As Christians, we focus so much on triumph and victory, which is definitely the outcome we will experience, that we fail to remember there’s a middle step. We can’t be over-comers without anything to overcome.  I am thankful for the confirmation of the Scripture and how it confirms so many things in my life.  I haven’t made a wrong turn anywhere along the way of my journey, even though I have at times strayed off the path.  I’m just walking in an area that requires me to hold His hand a little tighter and to draw in a little closer because He can see things in darkness I could never see in broad daylight.

It’s not by coincidence, it’s not by happenstance, but it’s by design that you are where you are.  I know the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 is primarily about the nation of Israel; however, since Christians are the “New Israel” we may lay claim to the truth in it for all of God’s children. There the prophet declares that God “knows” the plans for us.  May I remind you that is just another way of saying we don’t know them. God is the one in control and He’s the one ordering our steps and He knows the way. Even if that way happens to go through the darkest, lowest, loneliest times of our life, it’s worth being there because it is taking us precisely where our good will be produced. It may not look good, and Lord knows it doesn’t feel good, but be confident in knowing that it’s all for your good.  Take assurance in knowing that He purposely brought you to this “valley” so He could purposefully bring you out.  This dark place is just another opportunity to experience Christ in a closer way.

God covers us on all sides. We have not been forgotten, though there are times when it feels that way. He walks with us, sometimes carrying us through every experience. Trust Him!