Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me.” vs. 4Psalm 23:4-6
It’s no mystery why Psalm 23 is so frequently read at funerals and memorial services. Death is probably the darkest valley that we can endure. No matter what our religious beliefs might be, or even if they’re non-existent, death packs a powerful punch. Our friends and loved ones leave the land of the living and enter a new dimension, and no matter what our convictions about the afterlife, we feel the pain of their absence. It’s in those moments of tears and despair that this psalm comforts us. Its direct and simple words point us to a singular truth–the Lord is with us! And like a good shepherd the Lord is equipped to protect and guide, particularly when the shadows of death are creeping in. And we find comfort! When we come to the end of our power, and weakness grips our souls, the power of God kicks in, and we are sustained in our weariness and will have our joy restored. And as we continue on the journey set out for us, we discover that goodness and mercy, the prime attributes of God, are our daily companions–and they’ll be there for the rest of our lives! Our shepherd will never leave our sides–even when we wander!
Thought for the Day: How have I been comforted when death comes near?