It was at that very moment that I felt grateful to have my husband by my side, not just as a guide but also as a constant source of encouragement and support in spite of my fear.
As we reflect Psalm 23:4 today, let's imagine how reassuring it is to have God right there by our side, leading and guiding us with a love that's even stronger than our closest loved ones. In previous passages of Psalm 23, David describes the Lord as a shepherd who leads us beside still waters and makes us lie down in green pastures. However, in verse 4, we see that God is not only with us in peaceful places but also in the darkest times. Personally, I have questioned how David finds comfort in God's rod and staff during such dark times and why these specific terms are used in relation to the word comfort.
Interestingly, the rod and staff were fundamental tools used by shepherds to care for their sheep. Considering that sheep are not known for their discernment, the shepherd would employ the rod as a means of safeguarding the flock from potential predators.
On the contrary, the staff served as a guiding instrument, gently directing the sheep along their journey.
In a similar vein, this is precisely what the Lord does for us. As believers, He is not only present in the peaceful moments of our lives but also in our darkest seasons. He diligently guides us, defends us, and provides us comfort during these challenging times. However, it is imperative that we place our trust in Him to see the fruit of His labor.
I could have easily given in to my fears as I hiked up the mountain with my husband, missing out on the breathtaking view that awaited us at the top. I could have ignored his advice and ventured alone, disregarding his extensive expertise. But instead, I made the choice to place my trust in him. Likewise, this is how it is with God. In our darkest seasons, we have a choice. We can stubbornly go our own way, risking harm and confusion, or we can wholeheartedly trust that God's rod and staff are there to safely guide us through life's rocky terrain.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me...” Psalm 23:4a (NIV)
Devotionals by Author
All Abby McDonald Alexa Gearhart Angi Morrison Anna Bearden Anne Say Audra Powers Breanna Faith Spearman Brenna Kurz Brittany Marlow Caroline Hultgren Courtney Filippin Dana Schaefer Danielle Biddy Debbie Burns Heather Kenny Jannetta Cox Jessica Parker Jess Ridgeway Joan Lavori Katelyn Wilson Katie Gibson Kelly Orlowski Kerri Barfield Keryn Stokes Kristen Williamson Laura Pendley Lindsay McNeely Lonette Baity Martha Rudolph Nancy Ehlinger Renee Robinson Saretta Wells Tara McGill Taylor Watkins Tierney Nashleanas Wendy Gerdes