Happy Thursday to you!
Novak Djokovic just won the Gentlemen’s Tennis Championship at Wimbledon on Sunday!
France just won the World Cup on Sunday!
Jordan Spieth just finished at 1 over at the Open Championships at Carnoustie, Scotland today! (The British Open)
And I am just six days removed from officiating the memorial service for a three year old little boy named Zachary who drowned in his backyard pool.
That reality weighs much heavier on my heart and mind than the aforementioned sporting events.
This Sunday I am preaching on the following verse from the 23rd Psalm:
“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: 4)
I don’t know if you are aware of this fascinating fact.
You have something in common with every other person who is living and has lived on the planet earth.
You and I are going to die.
Each of us reading this note today will one day face walking “through the valley of the shadow of death.”
Even though David, the Psalmist states, “I will fear no evil” in regards to walking through the valley of the shadow of death, I cannot help but wonder if we will or if we do “fear.”
I have witnessed many other types of deaths in my ministry…
The death of faith
The death of relationships
The death of hope
The death of self-esteem and self-confidence
The death of joy
The death of purpose
The death of a marriage
The death of love
I am sure the list could keep on going…
I have personally experienced the aforementioned list myself.
How about you?
There’s one word from verse 4 in the 23rd Psalm which is easily overlooked…
The good news, yes, the good news is these deaths we experience, we are fortunately by God’s great grace going “through” these deaths, as if going through a shadow.
And where there is a shadow, there is a Light!
The Light of Jesus!
The bad news, yes, the bad news is when we experience these deaths sometimes we get stuck in the shadow.
And being stuck in the darkened shadow we are unable or perhaps unwilling to move “through.”
Take stock today and look around…
Are you stuck in the muck?
Are you just passing “through?”
Whichever position you find yourself in, you can “fear not” because of this amazing trifecta:
- The Good Shepherd is with you
- The Good Shepherd’s rod of God’s word will guide you
- The Good Shepherd’s staff of the Holy Spirit will draw you close to God so you may walk through to the other side…
There is light, life, abundant life, and eternal life on the other side of the shadow!
Wherever I see you, be it
Approaching the Shadow
In the Shadow
Moving through the Shadow or
On the other side of the Shadow
You are in good company!
The Good Shepherd is with you…
Laugh often and Fear not!