This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2020 Bible Reading Calendar.
Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ~ Psalm 23:5
We try to be brave. We try to teach our children to be brave. Yet, we each have our fears.
We fear change. We fear the unknown and uncertainty. We fear for our health and safety. We fear for our children. We fear losing our job. We fear losing our freedom. We fear death.
In many ways, such fear is rooted in our finitude. We recognize that no matter how strong we are, there is someone or something stronger. No matter how prepared we are, there are unknowns we could encounter. No matter how healthy we are, death can come in a blink. We do not have total control over any situation.
But when we trust in Jesus as our Good Shepherd, we walk with someone who does.
There is a story in the gospels where Jesus and his disciples cross the sea in a boat. Jesus is asleep when a storm arises suddenly. The disciples, scared, wake Jesus and he, collected, clams the sea.
You see, that is the power of the Son of God. “For everything was created by him… all things have been created through him and for him,” Paul wrote in Colossians 1:16.
In Psalm 23, David said that with the Lord as his Shepherd, he has nothing to fear. The dark valleys of life are those times where fear wants to take hold. Personal failures or uncontrollable circumstances threaten our well-being or that of those we love. The light seems distant. We’re unsure of what will happen.
And where is God? Walking through the midst of it with us. The All-Powerful One, Creator of all things, will not leave our side. His rod and staff, the tools of the shepherd, nudge and guide us. They also fight off enemies that would try to steal us from his grasp.
This is where courage exists. Courage is not found in the absence of things that cause fear. Courage also is not found by looking inward at ourselves. Courage is found by looking outward, upward, to the God who is bigger, infinitely bigger, than all.
All Scripture quotations taken from the Christian Standard Bible.