Life Beyond The Valley of The Shadow.


“He restores my soul…” – Psalm 23:3

This life is a series of mountains and valleys, and those valleys cause me to pray with intensity, “God, I need You to keep my heart alive!”

“The Lord is my Shepherd.”

I’ve had their books sitting on my desk for a quite awhile now, just waiting for the moment I knew I was to begin reading them.  My dear friends in ministry, Chris and Rahnella Adsit, have an amazing ministry to those wounded by war.  Here’s a partial quote from one of their writings that rings true in the heart of this lamb, so desperate to be led by her Shepherd.

“I will not let this journey be the end of my joy.  Satan’s lie is that.. (I, you, we) will never get out of this darkness, that.. (our) new, permanent address is the valley of the shadow of… (fill in your struggle).  God’s word tells us the opposite.  His word says we are traveling through the valley, not building our homes there.”

It’s human nature to go into hiding and self-protection in times of fear and great trauma, and we are sheep in need of a Shepherd.  If left on our own we will run blindly into the mouth of a wolf, or we will fall down with no ability to get back up.  We must remember, as heirs to Christ’s kingdom, we have our Shepherd who comes to our rescue, both from the wolves and from our own failings.

“Even Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”

Nebuchadnezzar was a ruthless and blood-thirsty king.  He held all the power and possessions this world could offer, but one day he found himself far from the kingdom he built.  He became like one of the beast in his fields, eating grass, dirty with earth, his hair covering his body, and his nails like that of a wild bird.  Physical trauma is one thing, but can you image the trauma to his mind?  He went from palace ruler to being ruled by wilderness beasts.

Then, this beast-like creature lifted his eyes toward heaven.  His understanding returned to him, and he gave praise and honor to the Most High.  The glory of his kingdom and his honor was returned to him.  King Nebuchadnezzar declared God’s works true and His ways just.  He was wounded by his personal war, but now was able to proclaimed, “I was restored.”

The Shepherd allowed this king to taste the wilderness for a moment, but He did not allow it to devour him.  If anyone deserved to be devoured during that time it was King Nebuchadnezzar, but God is able to redeem from the vilest of valleys, even those valleys that are self-made.  Like that king, we must be willing to look up and give praise to the only One who can redeem us.   If we will keep “traveling through” and not choose to “build our homes there,” we too will be able to proclaim, “I was restored.” 

Our past is a part of our testimony but it does not have to become our identity.  There is life beyond the valley of the shadow.

“He restores my soul.”

Will you let The Great Shepherd rescue you?

Will you let God keep your heart alive as you walk through this life’s journey?

Finding diamonds in the trials!
*Quote from, When War Comes Home, Christ-centered healing for wives of combat veterans, ( ) Shannan’s words.
*Story of King Nebuchadnezzar found in Daniel 1-4