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. (Psalm 23:4)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
At least in our part of the world, people are beginning to speak and act as if there is light at the end of the tunnel with regards to the COVID pandemic. The number of COVID cases and deaths has dropped significantly, vaccines are being administered, and things are “getting back to normal”—although it is not the old normal, but a new normal.
But even if that is the case, that there is light at the end of the tunnel, many are still walking through the darkest valley. Many are still struggling with grief. And that grief is the result of a variety of losses they have experienced over this past year. Perhaps you have experienced some of these losses too.
The loss of a loved one, to COVID or some other cause of death.
The loss of a relationship with a friend or family member.
The loss of a job or a business, and the financial challenges it brought.
The loss of a full school experience, including social and extracurricular experiences.
The loss of a sense of freedom and purpose and hope for the future.
The loss of an in-person connection with others.
With these and many other losses comes grief, a walk through the darkest valley.
I’m sure you have noticed that some people have been able to walk through the darkest valley of this past year faster and easier than others. Others still have a long way to go.
Perhaps you are still in the valley, and you see the darkness around you more than the light before you.
If that is the case, the words from Psalm 23:4 can give you reasons for hope to help you cope.
The first reason for hope is the word, “through.” “Though I walk ‘through’ the darkest valley. Notice, the Psalm doesn’t say, “Though I walk ‘into’ the darkest valley, but “Though I walk ‘through’ the darkest valley.” In other words, the darkest valley is not your final destination. It’s not a dead end. You are just passing through it.
And you don’t pass through the darkest valley alone. The Psalmist says, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” No matter how dark the valley you are walking through, the Lord is with you to leading you through it.
And the One who walks with you through your darkest valleys is the One who walked through THE darkest valley of all when He was tried, tortured, crucified and killed. On Jesus and this earth experienced a deep darkness.
But Jesus walked through the darkest valley! Three days after He died, He rose from the dead! The light at the end of the tunnel was the light shining brightly from the empty tomb.
And that light will continue to shine brightly for you as you walk through the darkest valleys of life with Him at your side.
In Jesus’ name.
Pastor Craig Michaelson