What’s your dark valley? David, the shepherd who would become king, knew dark valleys rife with lions and bears, filled with the sounds and smells that screamed danger for him and his sheep. He had to go there. It was his job to protect those assets of his father.
For us, we may be out hiking and have a sudden, ominous storm close in and turn what was a lovely walk into a scary, dark valley.
Or our valley may have nothing to do with location. It may be the valley of a terminal diagnosis. It might be the valley of grief. I could be the valley of loneliness. Maybe it’s the valley of abuse.
My own valleys have been horribly frightening places. I’ve twice visited the Valley of Cancer. Trust me, hearing “it’s a tumor” the second time isn’t any easier than the first. The color still drained from my face, my heart sank to my toes, and my mind whirled out of control. I was scared.
I walked through the Valley of Jack’s Aneurysm that I didn’t realize I was headed into, and wanted back out of as soon as I arrived. Hearing that my truest love might not survive the night was horrible. I was terrified.
Even so, I knew that God had not abandoned me, nor had he wished ill upon me. Neither was He shocked by these valleys like I was. There have been others. Quite a few. His presence remains the same.
David used the picture of the shepherd’s rod and staff. The rod he used to drive off the lion and bear, the attackers. The staff with which he would guide the sheep who were blissfully grazing along, unaware of their situation.
In childhood situations that scarred me, cancer, my husband’s near death, and other valleys, God protected me from all attackers. He knew I was vulnerable and He was there, taking care that I wasn’t devoured. He gently guided me where I needed to go — even to a specialist to restore me, located not in New York City, but in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Here’s the thing, y’all. We WILL go through valleys. There is no gettng to the mountaintops without them. There is no walking through life without encountering trouble. We can know going in to this journey that no matter what trouble, terror, or triumph we come to, God is right there to protect us and guide us. Always.
If you’re in one of those valleys right now, ask God to reveal Himself to you, to show you how He is using His rod and staff to protect and guide you. When you see it, rejoice and make the declaration of the shepherd, “I will not fear!”
If you’re on a mountaintop right now, look down and see the valley that awaits your arrival. Determine as the shepherd did that even though you will go through valleys, you’ll be doing so with God’s protection and guidance.
Walk on, Believer, head high, trust in place. God Himself is with you!
Coffee, Bible, Journal.