He is With You in Your Valley

I had the joy last night of speaking with a dear friend from Seattle who has served with the Navigators ministry for several decades. As I shared about some of the struggles I’d been going through lately, he opened up about his experience of reading through the Psalms once a month for a year. Each month he would pick a different translation of the Bible, and he said it was a powerful experience. There’s no other place in the Bible where emotions are so honest, raw, and open - David pours it all out before the Lord, unfiltered and real.

Psalm 23 is a favorite for many, myself included. The imagery is so incredibly powerful, especially when David talks about walking “through the valley of the shadow of death.” Life is full of valleys isn’t it? Some of them are brief and intense, others like permanent disability or chronic health issues can last a lifetime. The valleys can be intimidating, scary places - but we don’t have to go through them alone.

Jennifer Rothschild with Proverbs 31 Ministries shares about these places in her devotional “He is With You in Your Valley,” writing:

We all have those things that make us feel afraid, confused and vulnerable. A difficult relationship, discouraging situation, chronic or fatal diagnosis, or even painful memories. I’ll just call them valleys.

And, when we find ourselves in the valley, we can feel vulnerable and long for a rescue, a shelter … a Shepherd for our souls.

How do we get through the valleys? Rothschild offers three suggestions: Look to the Shepherd, Listen to the Shepherd, and Lean on the Shepherd. “It’s okay to feel weak and need strength” she says. “- we’re just sheep who need a Shepherd. So many things in this life are over our heads and beyond our abilities. But nothing we face is too hard for Him. So, don’t rely on your own strength. Lean on God’s instead — He will be enough to get you through your valley.”