“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Psalm 223)
In 2003 or 2004, the lion came prowling into my life to kill, steal, and destroy every glimmer of the Image of God he could find there. It is so funny, generally when we speak of an enemy, we speak of one who could harm us. However, the reality is who has any ability to do harm to God? Who has any threat against God that will stand? From God’s perspective, He has no real enemies. But, He does have those who hate Him and everything God, including God’s image on man. Satan hates God! Satan hates man, every man!
At this time in my life the lion did not come in roaring, he very quietly padded in unnoticed and slowly captured my mind and heart. His purpose was to paralyze my whole being. In my ministry experiences, I had been on the mountain top with the LORD many times, but Satan, and I must add, and Peter would concur, having God’s consent, took me into a deep valley of darkness. That valley of Satan carried the name, Depression.
Depression is a form of death. It never entered my thinking at the time, but if there could ever be one, I was a dead man walking. However, so deep was my valley, I did very little walking. I mostly slept, perhaps as much as 16-18 hours a day, waiting for death to finish its objective in me; an objective I would have embraced as freedom.
What I never realized was that all through this valley of the shadow of death there was the continuous presence of His Rod and His Staff comforting, loving, wiping my furrowed brow, keeping a slight spark of life and Light within my silent heart. Beloved, there is a Savior. There is a Shepherd. The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want, even when the lion comes near. There is hope. There is faith. And, faith is my confidence that in all my deep, dark valleys there abides the hope-filled word, “through.”
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)