The Lord Our Shepherd Part – 5

Psalms 23:4—- Yea, 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.

There is an old saying: “All sunshine and no rain make a desert”. If you never have any down times, dark times, gloomy times in your life you’ll be dried up. You’ll have no depth to yourself, no maturity. It takes good times and bad times to make a mature person. Life is a mixture of pain and pleasure, of victory and defeat, of success and failure, of mountain tops and valleys.

However we must remember that even in our darkest valleys, our darkest days, God is there by our side.

How do I handle the dark valleys of life?

There are five facts about valleys that you need to remember whenever you go through a tough time:

VALLEYS ARE INEVITABLE– -After every mountain top there is a valley. Jesus was very realistic about it. In John 16, He says “In the world you will have trouble.”

VALLEYS ARE UNPREDICTABLE —— Have you noticed how easily a good day can become a bad day? A phone call, a letter, a routine doctor’s check-up, a freak accident. Valleys just happen.
Jeremiah 4:20 “Disaster follows disaster… In an instant my tents are destroyed, my shelter falls in a moment.”

VALLEYS ARE IMPARTIAL —-No one is immune to them. No one is insulated from pain and sorrow. No one gets to skate through life problem-free. Everybody has problems — good people and bad people.

VALLEYS ARE TEMPORARY —- The valley is not something you stay in your entire life. It’s something you go through – a circumstance, a situation that has a season to it. When you’re in a valley you often think it’s a dead end, but it’s not. It’s like a tunnel — there is a beginning and end.

I Peter 1:6 “There is a wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here.”

When you go through the dark valley, refuse to be discouraged. Remember God is with you, walking beside you. Rely on God’s protection and guidance. He walks alongside of you and will never ever leave you or forsake you. None of us have seen God, but when we have a daily relationship with Him we will experience His presence.

I am sharing my personal experience of God’s love for us. Once at mass after the priest finished distributing the Holy Communion, I closed my eyes and thanked God for everything he has done for me and wished if I could only have the blood of Christ to drink. When I opened my eyes I saw the priest approach me with the chalice. After the mass ended I asked the priest why he gave it to me. He explained that as he was about to drink from the chalice, he felt stirred within to give it to me instead. I started crying because I just made one request and the next moment God responded!

Just imagine how much God loves us and cares for us! All we have to do is silence the negative commentary in our mind.  The only way we can stop it is through the Word of God. Jesus too experienced negative commentary after fasting but He put an end to it with the Word of God (Mathew4: 2 – 10).
 
All the devil wants is control to your mind, after which all your decisions and actions will be based on him. We have to willingly obey God’s Word, not because of the blessings, but because of His love for us.

And He loves me despite the fact that I fail Him every day.

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