Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me. Psalms 23:4 CSB
When was the last time you went through a dark valley in your life?
Are you in the midst of one right now?
What does it even mean to "go through the darkest valley"?
When I was growing up I lived through many years in the darkest valley of my life. For me, it felt like complete depression, helplessness, and hopelessness. I was in such agony I just wanted to feel anything but the all-consuming darkness.
At that point in my life, I didn't know the Lord. I was raised going to church, but honestly the more I learn and grow in my faith the more I look back and realize how trapped and blinded I was by the enemy. Satan wants to consume and destroy us. He wants to separate us from God and convince us the Bible is false, that there is no God or that if there is He couldn't love or forgive us, that we are all alone, that life is meaningless.
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Does that sound familiar? Do you know what utter hopelessness feels like? Yeh, me too.
...[the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44 ESV
The truth is that the devil is full of lies. All that darkness he surrounds us with is deception. All the whispers he tells us are false. For so many years I was convinced I was alone, that I was unlovable, that my life was pointless except to be used and abused by those around me. I was convinced peace didn't exist, that comfort was a lie, that love was just pain.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 ESV
This was my darkest valley. I felt like I was drowning like the mountain peaks were closing in on me, and that eventually the crashing waves and closing caverns were going to devour me - until God broke through and showed me He had been with me all along.
7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 ESV
One day, I felt His hand reach out to me in my dark valley and I finally reached back. It was an inch but He took me a thousand miles. At that moment I had faith the size of a mustard seed and God moved those mountains and parted the sea for me. I was free in Him, I was saved by His grace, I was given His light to show me the way through the darkness.
The darkness didn't vanish - the devil will constantly be there waiting to pounce, desiring nothing more than your destruction - but God is with us through even the darkest valleys. His truth stands firm no matter what our hearts believe.
God has pulled me through my darkest valley and now every dark valley I must walk through I know He is there with me. I know I have nothing to fear with Him on my side. There is evil all around but I can rest in the safety and strength of my God. I am comforted, guided, protected, and corrected by the Lord. I definitely stumble and fall - we all fall short of the glory of God - but I trust in my salvation, knowing that through repentance and confession I am forgiven again and made stronger every time.
4 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. Psalm23:4 ESV
Let the Lord be your strength through every dark valley. Let Him guide you, provide for you, correct you, teach you, and grow you. He is our source of comfort in all that we face, and as He comforts us He strengthens us so we can strengthen others in their dark valleys.
How can we pray for you? What dark valley are you facing or even healing from? Let God surround you with His peace and His people. Seek comfort in the Lord first and above all, and let us pray over you in your struggles and pains.