“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me”. Psalm 23:4
One of the things I love about the Bible is that no matter how many times I’ve read a verse or passage, sometimes something will jump out and it’s like reading it for the first time. That happened this week with Psalm 23. I have probably read this Psalm hundreds of times, maybe thousands. And I even memorized this Psalm as a kid, but using King James Version. I read it this week using the NIV translation, and it just read differently – especially with my “no fear” focus.
In the King James, it reads, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil“. We have had a lot of death and grief in our family over the course of my life, and I think I always connected with the “valley of the shadow of death” part of the verse. It spoke to me. Felt familiar to me. Comforted me.
And then this week, reading this passage in the NIV, I stopped when I read verse 4. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil”. The “darkest valley” just jumped out and read differently to me.
We’ve been through a lot of valleys lately. Life is hard. Raising kids is hard. Marriage is hard. Finances and running a business and covid and church and friend relationships and…. it all can be so hard. And sometimes, the hard phases of life feel like deep, dark valleys. There is always light off in the distance, but those dark valleys.. man, they bring fear and anxiety and alone-ness.
But God, through David in this Psalm, reminds us that even though we have to walk through the dark valleys, He is there. We don’t have to fear.
And I have to mention the rest of the verse. We don’t often like to talk about “evil”. It’s a word we avoid, but the evil is exactly why it’s so hard. The whole point of the evil one is to separate us from God and make it hard. And yet. God is with us. We don’t have to fear the evil. We don’t have to fear the dark valley. The overwhelming anxiety of the hard times. The dread of what is happening… or not happening. God’s rod and staff – his shepherding hands – are there to comfort us.
Are you sensing a theme yet, with all these “No Fear” verses?
This week’s scripture is a phone wallpaper, as always. I set it up as a free download when you sign up for my email list. Starting next week, if you are on the email list, you’ll get the wallpaper in your email. But for this week, you can sign up below to be added to email list and get the download!