Often, I don't sleep very well. I have a hard time getting to sleep, and I regularly wake up in the middle of the night and then have a hard time getting back to sleep. One of the things I've found recently that helps me get back to sleep is to meditate on different excerpts from the Bible. I've been rather fixated on the 23rd Psalm for a while (and my success rate of falling asleep after thinking about it has been pretty good), so I thought I'd do a series of posts on my thoughts on it. This is part 4 of my 'meditations' on Psalm 23.
Though I Walk Through the Valley...
...of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. The previous verse says that my Shepherd leads me on paths of righteousness, and that God's reputation (His namesake) is involved in me staying on those paths. What if His path leads unpleasant places? Actually, its not really an 'if'. David didn't say 'If I walk through the valley...' or 'Though I might walk through the valley...' Jesus said 'In this world you will have tribulation...' I shouldn't be shocked when bad things happen.
We face all kinds of 'death' in our lives. A literal, physical death of a life is the immediate picture that this verse has conjured up for me. However, recently I've realized that I face many other more common metaphorical 'deaths' that have a significant impact on my life: Death of a dream or hope, death of a job or career, death of a relationship, etc.
Even though being on God's path isn't a guarantee of an easy, happy-go-lucky life, David says 'I will fear no evil.' Jesus similarly responds, 'Be of good cheer, I've overcome the world.'
Similarly, while I'm heading this direction, its in a walk. I'm not cowering, sneaking, hesitating, or running (all things I might be doing if I was afraid). To me, walking in this context alludes to being secure and relaxed. Further to this thought....
Your Rod and Staff..
Finding comfort in an unsafe place.
Even now as a grown up, I often find I need someone in my life I can lean on who is bigger than me, knows all my foibles and concerns, and has everything control even when I don't feel like it. If I can remember that and centre myself on that thought and in His presence, I find the comfort and protection I need.
Other posts in this series:
- Psalm 23 - Part 1 - The Lord is My Shepherd
- Psalm 23 - Part 2 - Green Pastures and Still Waters
- Psalm 23 - Part 3 - Restoration and Righteousness
- Psalm 23 - Part 5 - A Table in the Presence of My Enemies
- Psalm 23 - Part 6 - Anointed Head, Overflowing Cup
- Psalm 23 - Part 7 - Goodness and Mercy Follow Me
- Psalm 23 - Part 8 - Dwell in the House of the Lord