What's gonna happen?
I've worked really hard all day (week) long and as it's coming to a close I realize I won't be able to finish my task.
I feel as if I'm going to fall off a precipice at the end of the world.
Okay, that's an exaggeration.
It's as if the shadows that are moving across the field outside my window are closing down all possibilities for the future. I begin to panic. What will I do when it's fully dark and I can't see? I won't know where I am or which way to go. I won't be able to protect myself from the threats I can't see.
My mind shifts to the words of Psalm 23:4 "the valley of the shadow of death."
Okay, another exaggeration.
Let's get back to the facts.
It's uncertainty that I'm facing not death and the verse is more than those seven words.
"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." ESV
That's right. How could I forget?
I'm not alone in this valley even though it can feel that way. The Shepherd is with me. He's got the tools of His tender loving care with Him. He's ready, willing, and able to meet any danger.
I am comforted by this God-breathed Truth. I choose not to fear.
I admit it's an act of the will, but the Savior knows that. He's right here to walk beside me through the valley; calming my fears, showing the way, guiding my steps.
As I settle into my refreshed confidence I notice an interesting footnote in the ESV. It says that "the valley of the shadow of death" can also be translated as "the valley of deep darkness".
Lord willing, I'll remember next time that it's only darkness not death and I won't exaggerate myself over a cliff.