The valley of the shadow of death.

This was the promise He gave me the last time I went through this. “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.”

At the time, I thought this meant it would just be a shadow of death – from the last death of our baby. That I would get pregnant again and have to endure the anxiety of losing this baby too. Like walking in the shadow of a mountain. Such a vivid image Scripture provides for us.

But this does not feel like a shadow. This is death itself again, literally ripping out my insides, and tearing me and my baby to pieces. It is grotesque. It is death.

Yet even the greatest evil this world can endure — death itself — does not get the last word. Death points us upward to Jesus.

One day, I will see my babies; one day I will get to hug them and hold them forever. One day all that death has wrought on our earth will be undone. And in that one moment of reckoning, everything will be brought to light: evil, sin, unbelief, rebellion — it will be brought into even greater judgment than death now can incur. But for those of us who hold fast to Jesus, death itself will be undone.

And so, in this way, even this path I must walk down, in this deep and dark valley, the darkness is just as light to my good Shepherd, and the death is just a shadow, because one day, it will be undone.

In the meantime, I am really in need of His rod and staff. I love that Psalm 23 describes the comfort of the Good Shepherd as not just His presence, but emblems of His presence. I am a very tangible, concrete person. I desperately need the small physical manifestations of His comfort. Would you pray for me to find those this week? To see where His rod and staff are present in my life, protecting me and baring the way from any more evil to touch me?