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 ESV)
Psalm 23 is a popular Psalm that describes God as our shepherd. The job of the shepherd was first and foremost to keep and protect their sheep. They led their sheep to food and water, and the sheep were dependent upon their shepherd. Shepherds protected the sheep from wild animals and would even risk their lives for the sheep. Jesus is called the Good Shepherd (John 10:11).
When we think of being protected by the shepherd we often think of green pastures and flowing rivers. We know from our Christian walk though, that life isn’t always like that. In our lifetime there will be times Jesus LEADS us through valleys as the beginning of Psalm 23:4 describes. Our paths to these green pastures aren’t always safe.
While we are in these valleys and feel as though Jesus is not there, we can be comforted with no need to fear. We do not fear because we know the Good Shepherd is leading us and will protect us with his rod and staff. As you go through these valleys remember that the Good Shepherd has already laid down his life for you and is leading you to greener pastures.
Many times, to arrive in a good place, we must travel through the bad.