The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul, he leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, 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. (Psalm 23:1-4)
Late one night when we were in the shelter, I was listening to Christian radio and learned something I will never forget.
Most people know this Psalm; here's what gets overlooked: we all walk through this valley at some point, but it is of the Shadow of death, not death itself! What harm can a shadow do? Are children frightened of shadows when their parents are with them? No! The word tells me He, Almighty God, is beside me in the valley; I have nothing to fear.
It blows my mind. It gives me peace. It brings me to my knees in thanksgiving.
Did you know in Biblical times, shepherds would break the leg of a sheep who continued to wander away? Not in a place that would cripple them, not of malicious intent, but to keep them safe from the wolves that waited for strays. The sheep would then be carried by the shepherd until healed... and never wandered far again.
I believe God broke my leg last year. He didn't do it to harm me; He did it to save me. Did it hurt? Yes! But I have been carried by Him, I yearn to be close to Him, and I have been lifted up and away from those who would harm me. I may limp a little but I am more whole than I've ever been.