Darkness

“Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.” – from Psalm 23

Psalm 23 is the arguably the most famous and most loved of all the 150 psalms.  It is very familiar to most Christians.  For those of you who are not familiar with it, I recommend you read the whole psalm for its beautiful and timeless images depicting God’s faithfulness and love.  When I read this particular passage, some thoughts come to mind.  In this time we are all facing uncertainty, especially here in my Midwestern state.  There is great fear of financial ruin in the form of job losses, foreclosures and bankruptcy.  Things upon which we used to depend are turning out to be unreliable.  How will we cope with this uncertainty?

The psalmist’s faith shows that he had no fear, even in the darkness, because he believed that God was at his side.  Notice that he does not pray to God to take away the darkness.  That would be an understandable approach to being in such a tenuous and unnerving state.  But instead, he praises God for simply being at his side.  The presence of God was enough for him to feel safe and secure.  So, perhaps God will not alter the failing global economy overnight – to make us all “feel better”…so we can go back to seeking fulfillment in materialism and trivial pursuits.  Instead he may let the darkness remain, while we fumble around in the dark, until we finally decide it makes sense to seek out an unfailing source of light.

 Jesus spoke to them again, saying,
“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”


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2 Responses to “Darkness”

  1. Davin Says:

    I remember being touched by the poetic visualizations of Psalm 23 as a kid in middle school. I told the person in front of me and she replied, “Oh, you mean the funeral psalm?” Did that ever put that psalm in a somber light for me. I got over it.

    To me, the psalm has little to do with death, in spite of the “the valley of the shadow of death” reference. It is a psalm of life, especially those times in each of our lives when we feel as though we are walking in a darkened world.

  2. Davin Says:

    I actually just watched this video posted on a blog that my employer produces. In it, the speaker, Nate Larkin says, “Living in the truth, walking in the light, no matter how other people may perceive it, man, now that’s freedom.”

    Porno, Saint Nate, and the Pirate Monks
    http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/2009/04/03/porno-saint-nate-and-the-pirate-monks/

    In this guy’s story, you see an example of someone who finally walks with God through the proverbial dark valley, but only after getting to the point of caring less about protecting himself and relying more on God as the protector.

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