In the Dark Valleys

Joni and Friends
In the Dark Valleys

by Joni Eareckson Tada

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23 (NIV, 1984)

Psalm 23 reminds us that our Good Shepherd leads us, guards our lives, and restores us. And then there’s that scary part: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” It’s true—our Shepherd will sometimes lead us into and through some dark valleys. But that is where faith has a chance to grow and become strong. If God created us and saved us (and He did), then shouldn’t He know best how to preserve, protect, and strengthen our souls? It’s in those frightening, desolate places where His grace is abundant and His presence especially near. It’s where our need of Him becomes more desperate, and our dependence on Him becomes more urgent. Once we have passed through this shadowy place (and we will pass through), the memory of His presence, protection, and grace will assure us for the rest of our journey.

Lord, I remember the dark places and wouldn’t want to go back to them. But I also remember how I was never alone. There were moments when it was hard to see You in the darkness, but I knew You were there and would once again guide me safely through. And You did.

Taken from A Spectacle of Glory

By Joni Eareckson Tada

Copyright © 2016
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.

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