Read: Isaiah 43:1-7
I walk through the valley. (Psalm 23:4a)
Valleys are found between two high places. We get from one high place to the other by going through the valley. In today’s verse from Psalm 23, David describes passing through “the valley of the shadow of death” (v. 4). The valley was dark; it was hard to make it through. In 2018, I found myself in that valley. I lost three loved ones within months of each other. It was hard to go through the valley, but I did not go through it alone.
Today’s reading uses a different metaphor for the same idea. Isaiah says when we pass through waters, God will be with us. He will not let rivers overwhelm us or fire burn or consume us (Isa. 43:2). But notice, he doesn’t say if we go through these challenges but when we face them. We can expect hard times in the Christian life. But we will move through them with God’s help. He is with us just as he led his people through the wilderness for forty years (Deut. 2:7).
What are you facing this new year? Are you in a valley of grief, or are you facing health challenges, loneliness, financial, or relational troubles? Or are you in the valley of anxiety, depression, or uncertainty? You are not alone. God will help you walk through your valley. He is with you. If you are not in a valley, pray for someone who is, and help lead them to higher ground. Share the good news that God our Shepherd will walk with them through their valley.
As you pray, trust God to walk with you through this new year.
About the Author
Nancy Boote, an ordained minister in the Reformed Church of America, lives in Holland, Michigan, with her husband. Besides being a mother, a grandmother, a song writer, and lover of horses, Nancy also has a heart for prayer and seeing racism dismantled.