Lent Day 29
Here’s a friend Peter’s thoughts on the part of Psalm 23 that speaks to him most. May it encourage you today.
Even 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.
I’m very thankful for these words because they’re a reminder that Jesus is my Shepherd not only when the sun shines and everything is going great. He’s also my Shepherd in the day when I feel like the bottom has just dropped out of my life. Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
Those words paint a beautiful picture of a very frightening place. David is remembering his experience of minding his father’s sheep in Bethlehem. The flock spent the winter months in the fields around the village. When spring came those fields needed to be ploughed for sowing crops. So the shepherd took the sheep to upper pastures in the mountains for the summer months. The best way to get there was often by narrow gullies cut into the valley sides by streams flowing from the upper plateau. Those gullies were steep and stony. They were deep-sided and dark-shadowed. The water flowed fast, making a lot of noise, and it was a good place for predators to lurk in the hope of picking out a weak or isolated sheep. It was a fearful place for a flock.
David says, even in the place of real danger, when there may be cause to be afraid, I will not fear because the Lord is my Shepherd. As the Good Shepherd lifts up the sheep that falls from the path with his staff and protects it from evil predators with his rod, the Lord will also be with me. He will lift me up when I stumble and fall and he will protect me from fear.
That’s been a great comfort to me and one to share with others like you.