Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.
I think it is important that we understand the following: while we journey through this life, the Lord never promised to exempt us from trouble. We still live in a fallen world. Understanding this is what helps us realise that not everything we hope for in this life will go our way. It’s about the way we handle it that makes all the difference.
I have the privilege of working with a variety of different age groups, from young people right up to the very old, and it’s interesting to see how different age groups handle similar situations. When you watch the response from mature older folk, you get the sense that they choose not to fret as easily as those who are younger. It is astounding to watch and it remains something that infuriates most of the younger generation.
The older generation have this way of remaining quiet and composed within the moment, where younger people find themselves frantically running around trying to put out fires.
Why is this? Time and experience has taught the older generation one thing: some things are simply beyond your control, and you can choose to worry about it (have sleepless nights) or you can learn to hand it over to the Lord. True maturity in the Lord looks exactly like that, knowing that you can only do so much and that the rest calls for you to simply stand fast by learning to trust the Lord.
This is, and remains, the biggest difference between those who have chosen to place their hope and trust in the Lord versus those who still choose go about life trying to bring the change in their own ability and strength.
Perhaps today calls again for you to reflect on your maturity. Is your life built on what you are able to do or is it built on a much firmer foundation, one that chooses to trust and rely on the Lord to help see you through the darkest moments?
My friend, our reading today reminds us that we won’t always find ourselves standing on a mountain top, seeing everything with great clarity and awe, but that we will go through many dark valleys that look scary. In those moments we need to hold tight to the Lord, placing all our trust in Him, and allow Him to lead us up out of the valley and back up the mountain where we will once again see the greatness of the One we serve.
Your mountain top experience will come, and you will stand in awe looking over the beauty of it all; simply learn to trust God through it all.
Lord Jesus, thank you that I don’t have to go through the darkest moments by myself because You are right there to lead and guide me through them. Help me to reflect and build on the trust of past experiences in order to reach those mountaintop experiences again. I pray this in Your name. Amen