I will bring the blind by a way they did not know;
I will lead them in paths they have not known.
I will make darkness light before them,
And crooked places straight.
These things I will do for them,
And not forsake them.
What is the scariest, darkest thing you can imagine going through? Maybe you’ve already gone through it.
In the allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress, there is a point in which Christian must walk through The Valley of the Shadow of Death. As he looks at the valley, he knows he does not want to go through this dark place. But he is assured that if he stays on the road and does not look to the left or right, he will get across this valley safely.
Before he starts down this path, he is met by two other young people who urge him to turn around. They’ve seen what’s ahead and they have decided to forego the journey and turn back.
This valley is so dark, deep, and scary, there are times when Christian cannot even see where his foot will land when he takes the next step. He hears voices. He’s even overcome by “the wicked ones” who whisper grievous words in his ears and he cannot tell if they are coming from his own mind, or where the accusations are truly coming from.
Is this sounding familiar to anyone? I know I’ve certainly been in this valley. I’ve walked it more times than I care to admit to or count.
But I want to assure you of this one thing: God is with you. Through every single moment of this darkness, God is right there with you.
When Christian can stand it no longer—the taunting, the darkness, the fear—instead of turning back or just losing his mind altogether, he calls out to God.
Yet the fiends seemed to come nearer and nearer; but when they were come even almost at him, he cried out with a most vehement voice, “I will walk in the strength of the Lord God”; so they gave back, and came no farther . . . When CHRISTIAN had travelled in this disconsolate condition some considerable time, he thought he heard the voice of a man, as going before him, saying, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me”.1
For Thou art with me.
You might be hiding from the enemy. You might be teetering on the edge of a cliff. You could be agonizing over a decision or wishing you could turn around and run the other way. Wherever you are, whatever situation you are in, no matter how deep or dark, God is with you.
He comes to you. Even when you don’t know God is there, He is just sitting, waiting for you to notice Him.
And when you have come through the valley, you will be greeted by His light.
“And by and by the day broke; then said CHRISTIAN, “He hath turned the shadow of death into the morning”.” 1
How dark the days
and darker still
the sin within my heart
how deep the pit
and deeper still
He stretches out His arm.
Whether in the valley
or high on mountain top
God is surely with me
His love will never depart.
I cannot run
I cannot hide
He knows me by my name
How bright the sun
and calm the moon
as He lightens
my steps each night and day.
©29 October 2019
From My Heart to Yours,
1The Pilgrim’s Progress. John Bunyan. The Valley of the Shadow of Death. http://www.covenantofgrace.com/pilgrims_progress_shadow_of_death.htm. The Covenant of Grace. Internet.
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