The Valley of the Shadow

by TerryLema

Last week was a tough week.  I spent some time with God telling Him how much I really hate death.

I am all too familiar with death. I was seven when my precious Aunt Eva died. I was taken to her service and up to her casket where I kissed her. I was eight when my Grandfather died and attended his funeral too. I drove our neighbor to his lung cancer radiation treatments when I was sixteen and watched him slowly dying in my car. I was a hospice chaplain for years and got to know many new people each year, all of whom died. Yes, I am all too familiar with death.

As a Christian, I know that when we die, we move in the blink of an eye from this life to our eternal one, purchased on the cross by Christ Jesus our LORD. Still, I hate death.

Death is a foreign entity in God’s creation. It came as the punishment for disobedience, the end result of condemnation for sin. It is the last enemy we will see completely abolished.  [1 Corinthians 15:26]

There is something inside us that senses God’s intent is for life, and when death strikes our bodies, we fight it. All last week, I wrestled with God in prayer, reminding Him how much I truly hate death. Then on Saturday morning, when I opened one of my Verse-of-the-Day emails, to my surprise I found this:

“Yea, 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.” [Psalms 23:4 NKJV]

Even as we face the last enemy we will ever face—God is with us. His rod and His staff comfort us as we move through that valley. When we get to the other side of death and look back, I think we will find merely a “shadow of death” as we enter into that glorious presence of God.

I know all that with all my mind and my heart. Yet, I still really hate death.

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