KEPT IN THE VALLEY – THE EXPERIENCE

Two blogs ago we embarked on a journey of taking a glimpse into King David’s life in Psalm 23. I mentioned how verse 4 of the Psalm caught my attention. It is the verse where David shared two significant things with his readers about his valley moment. As a refresher, let’s read verse 4 again,

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. Ps.23:4

The two things that David shared were what God allowed and what he (David) experienced during his walk through the valley. In the original blog I shared what God allowed David to experience – a walk through a dark valley. If you missed that blog, you can find it in the archives. In the blog I mentioned that we would eventually take a peek into what David experienced as he walked through the valley. Good news, we have caught up with ‘eventually’, and so today let’s turn our gaze on David’s recollection of his valley experience. Let me start by sharing something that jumped out at me a few days ago as I was meditating on Psalm 23 and David’s experience shared in the passage. David mentioned in verse 4 that the walk he took in the valley did not end in the valley, he clearly stated,

“…I walk through the darkest valley”

‘Through’ is a key word in this scripture. The valley was a place David passed through, it was not a place he spent the rest of his earthly existence in. That is encouraging! Like it was for David, it is for you and I as well; valley moments are places we pass through. They do not define our destiny; they simply are places we pass through on our way to our destiny. Never look at your valley moments as, ‘this is it. There is no more hope’. Always remember that you are merely passing through those valleys, period. I just had to share that, ‘aha’ moment with you.

Now back to what David experienced in the dark valley. The first thing King David shares with us is that he had no fear. In the earlier blog I shared how valleys can be frightening because there is normally very little to no light in valleys. Also, valleys are known as places where wild animals inhabit and where clean water is scarce. I have never been in a valley. The thought of walking into a valley, leave alone through, always gives me chills. How was David able to overcome fear in a dark and dangerous place? Fear is a natural human response, especially when one is alone or unfamiliar with the surrounding. So like me, you are probably thinking, I will just avoid valleys altogether. But the truth is that we cannot avoid facing spiritual valleys in our lives. No matter what we do, they will come our way. So how do we walk through them? Let’s read on and allow David’s experience to help answer that question. After telling us that he was not afraid, David shared something that is so important to remember,

“…I will not be afraid, for you are close beside [with] me.”

God was with David. No, God was not just with David, He was close beside David. David was able to experience a fearless walk in a fearfully known situation because God was close beside him. Wow! Do you know that you can experience the same type of walk, in a valley? You can walk through a spiritual war and experience no fear. You worship the same God who David worshipped and He (God) has never changed; if He did it for David, He can (and wants to) do it for you. But there is a catch; are you walking close beside [with] God?  In Psalm 73, the author shares his frustrations of watching the wicked prosper and being ridiculed by evil people for believing and trusting in God. He got to the point where he was discouraged; his valley walk was wearing him out. When we get to verses 16 and 17, the author shares something that always brings a smile to my face,

16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! 17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.

 All the understanding we need as we walk through our valley moments comes from God. He will help you and I get through the mazes of our valleys. God will keep us safe as we walk through valleys. Do not focus on what is in the valley or what is not in the valley; focus on the One who will give you understanding in the valley. When the Psalmist realized that God had the understanding he needed, it was no longer a, “difficult task”, to push forward with God. Instead he recognized how important it was for him to be, “near God’ (Ps.73:28). You can experience what David experienced if you remain near God. James reminds us in chapter 4 of his letter that God will come close to us if we will come close to Him,

Come close to God, and God will come close to you…

You and I serve a God who can and wants to walk with us, yes even through dark valleys. God does not just want to walk with you; He wants to walk close beside you. King David shared more in verse 4 of what he experienced – God’s staff and rod – and while they were important (maybe in another blog we can look at why they are valley tools that we need to be aware of), it is what he first experienced that was the most important thing he needed in that valley – the closeness of his Keeper who walked with him and caused fear to run right out of that valley. It is God who kept David in that valley. It is God the Father – your Kinsman Keeper – who is and who will always keep you in your valleys. May you, like David, experience a fearless walk in a fearful dark valley as you walk close to the God who holds you close to Himself. He is thee Keeper Amen.

1 thought on “KEPT IN THE VALLEY – THE EXPERIENCE”

  1. Am grateful that God is my keeper. I feel as though tge year 2020 many had to walk through valleys. I know I did and God kept me, and thankyou for reminding me He walked and still walks besides me. What a God!!

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