Though I walk through the shadow of valley of death … Psalm 23:4a
Yesterday afternoon I entered a patient’s room and she kindheartedly handed me the obituaries. She had saved it for me because one of my patients was listed and she thought I would want to see it. As I sat on the edge of the chair I noticed the funeral had started at the very time I started reading it. And, for a moment, I resumed my slow walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
Are you passing through the same shadow? Was this website pulled up by the same hands that touched the hand of a dying friend? And the eyes that fall upon this page, have they fallen upon the face of a terminally ill loved one? Are you passing through the valley? If not, this particular devotion may seem unnecessary. However, some of us know that the black bag of sorrow is hard to bear.
It’s hard because not everyone understands your grief. They seemed to at first, but they don’t understand why you don’t bounce back after a few days. Grief lingers. As silently as a cloud slides between you and the afternoon sun, memories drift between you and joy, leaving you in a chilly shadow. No warning.
When someone you love dies, it affects you because you’re dealing with more than memories, you’re left with unlived tomorrows. You’re left with disappointment and perhaps even anger. You may want to know why. Why him/her? Why now? Only God knows the reasons behind His actions.
Though we don’t understand His ways, we can trust His heart for us. In God’s plan every life is long enough and every passing is timely. And though we may wish for more time, God knows better. Many times while we’re questioning God, the affected person is praising Him, accepting the situation.
God doesn’t want us to bury ourselves in sorrow. Denial isn’t a part of God’s grief therapy. He wants us to move through, not around, the valley of the shadow of death. And, I’m personally grateful it’s merely a shadow! Shadows don’t hurt.
Yes, we face death and it’s deeply sorrowful. But thanks to Jesus, we face only the shadow. And we can have faith that our loved ones are happy and joyous like never before. Hallelujah!