Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Valley Of The Shadow

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.

Carried,
Carolynn

17 comments:

Blessed said...

I'm so thankful for a God who will carry us - I needed this reminder today, thank you.

Growin' with it! said...

beautiful, profound and true. great post carolynn. my dad was quoting this one the other day. it has soooo much meaning!

Annette said...

Yes you are being carried during this difficult time. Isn't God amazing? What blessings He bestows upon us in all things good or bad.

God Bless, Annette

Erin K. said...

What a great reminder, something that is great for me to hear tonight. =)

My cup runneth over... surely goodness and mercy will follow me ALL the days of my life...

Praise the Lord for his blessings!

3 Bay B Chicks said...

Such an amazing analogy, Carolynn. Thank you. As usual, I leave your blog more at peace than when I arrived.

-Francesca

PS: My apologies that I did not answer your question re school. I am enrolled in a small MBA program at a state school close to my home. Impressed? You shouldn't be. Given the current economy, I am not sure that the degree will help me find a job any more quickly or easily. Pole dancing may very well be in my future after all! :)

Debbie said...

Wow. I did not know that about the shepherds. That is something to think about.

Sara@I.Sass said...

I wish you showed up on my reader. I missed a post. Sorry :( I forget sometimes to check everyday. You, my friend, are sincerely gifted with your insight. God uses you to translate to the rest of us. I always hated that verse, because it is ALWAYS said at funerals, which whether in heaven or not funerals just suck. And some can be creepy. So yeah, never liked that verse, wouldn't be said at my funeral...oh, no I want something about how I'm dancing in the streets and eating dessert. (I just know there is a verse in the bible somewhere that talks about dessert)
But the way you detail it out for us. Yeh, it's the SHADOW of death, not death itself.
(choir of angels sing)
Miss you girl.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Wow, one powerful post sweetie!! wow-- really. Sometimes, we have no idea what our trials are for or who they help. I can't imagine I would've had my heart open so quickly to you if you hadn't been going through your valley not long after I met you-- and the result is that you ended up carrying me! Thank you.

LOVE Mark Schultz :-)

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I love your insight here. You are so right about the shadow thing. It's never really as scary as it seems, and we are not alone through it.

forever folding laundry said...

As usual, your faith is inspiring. Hope you are having a great weekend.

XOXO
~Keri

Jenny said...

Never thought about the shadow of death in that way... I need to go read that psalm now. :)

Erin K. said...

Just wanted to pop in and say that I'm thinking about you. I hope all is well... (((((hugs)))))

Heather of the EO said...

Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart the way that you do. You are truly inspiring!

3 Bay B Chicks said...

Friend...are you there? I check your blog faithfully each and everyday, but I am not sure if you are blogging. Are you well? I saw your comment on my post today and quickly ran to your site to see if there was a sign.

I await your return. Whenever that time comes. :)

XOXO

imbeingheldhostage said...

I couldn't get this post out of my mind. I almost brought it up in church (but how silly does that look, "I read this blog...")
Thanks for your encouragement today. I hope you're so busy with good things that you haven't had time to post :-)

Growin' with it! said...

just thinking about you this morning carolynn and hoping you are doing FABULOUS!!

jubilee said...

Wow. You've brought a whole new perspective to light for me. Thank you for sharing.