Psalm 23:4 (King James)
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
I’m at an age when I grew up with the King James version of the Bible and that was the only version. There may have been others out there but I wasn’t exposed to them since there was no such thing as the Internet back then. To me Psalm 23, is about not fearing death. OK, that’s a good thing, I’ll give you that. But one of my online devotions used a different Bible version this week. It goes this way:
Psalm 23: 4 (NIV)
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.
Those words touched me in a completely different way than when I usually read them.
I am going through a dark valley right now. It may not be the darkest valley I’ll ever have to go but it’s pretty dark and certainly not a place I ever wanted to go. I found out a few weeks ago that I completely lost my hearing in my right ear due to the treatment on my brain tumor.
I’m still facing treatment for my left tumor and that means if the same thing happens I could be completely deaf.
Interestingly enough, when I was diagnosed and told that deafness was a possibility, that was the worst possible news. It seemed as if that would be the worst thing that could ever happen to me. No longer able to hear my husband as he serenades me. No longer able to participate in a simple conversation–face to face or on the phone. No longer able to play and talk with my pet parrots.
To me it was one of the worst things that could happen. In truth, I may be better equipped to handle deafness than most adults. I’m a speech pathologist with a degree in deaf education. I’ve known sign language since I was a teenager. I’ve taught deaf and hard-of-hearing children how to be better communicators in spite of their hearing loss.
At the beginning of my journey with my brain tumors, It was impossible for me to imagine becoming deaf. Now, it’s not. It’s a very real possibility and one that I must face. Some days, I’m sure if the worst thing does come to pass, I will simply become a hermit, stay home, and write. However most days, I know that is a ridiculous choice.
Those are the days that I remember God is with me and even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for He is with me.
THE WORST THING is different for each of us, but the feelings are the same–pain, sorrow, fear, and even anger to name a few. The worst thing can and does happen to some of us every day. Even as we go through the worst thing–the darkest valley if we keep our eyes on the light of God’s love and goodness, the darkness won’t be quite so dark and scary and we won’t feel so alone.
One of the best ways to let God’s light shine is to read His Word. I find such comfort and hope in His Word and the promises there. When I read the verse from today, my spirit calmed, and I remembered I’m not alone in the darkest valley. God is there with me.
When bad things happen we have a choice. Let the darkness win or let God shine his light of love and goodness into the darkness to light the path that leads to God’s Kingdom–a kingdom filled with love, peace, and joy.
SHARING TIME: I’d love for some of you to share your journeys out of the darkness and back into the light of God’s Kingdom.