“Even 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 23:4 ESV
As the shadows creep across my wall, I am reminded of the great shadow that crept across my heart in November. They haven’t gotten smaller and they linger in the quiet moments, as well as, the ones full of living. I still miss Chris deeply. I am reminded that there is no shadow that doesn’t have a light behind it. Somewhere, beyond the fingers of darkness, is a pure and holy light.
I am not sure it is possible to completely express what the “valley of the shadow of death” is like to be in. Many of you, may already know what its dark fingers feel like. That period of time when you know death is lurking around the next corner, to the day death looks you in the eye, these are the days of shadow lands. From then on, it is the valley of that shadow we must walk through. We are not promised this morbid place in permanence. But it is promised to us God’s comfort, in all the fears of the unknown. He is with us at the edge of every shadow, He is that pure and holy light. The shadows fingers will never take hold of our hearts, if we lean on His strength. Key words being “walk through the valley of the shadow.” To keep taking steps forward, not to creep back into the room of pitch black curtains of mourning. Certainly, I relive the days we watch shadows cover hope. But I know, death’s shadow never truly stole away the future. Deep in my broken heart, I knew hope’s light lingered. And as the light drew closer, and the shadows grew longer I knew more and more the comfort of the Great Shepherd’s staff and rod. They are with me still. And this deep loneliness, I am learning, can drive me to the arms of a loving Father, instead of the depths of shadowy despair.
Psalm 139:11-12 ESV
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,”  even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
And when those shadows seemed to cover all of me, I was reminded the light of His great love was all around me. Memories of the special times with my beloved, far outweighed the idea of death. Even today, in the throes of the “fallout” of this valley journey, I can see small sparks of light crackling on the horizon.
Job 11:17 ESV
And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning.
It takes the darker moments, when all seems lost in the depths of shadows, when you have to cry out for a light of hope before you realize, like Job, He can make the darkest shadows of despair, as bright as noon.
I sat in the shadows all week, I didn’t have any desire to be there. But at some point, I had to tak the hand being offered to help, or remain in a pit that would only grow deeper. A conscious effort had to be made to reach back to that outstretched hand. To plead with a living Father for enough strength, enough wisdom, enough hope and enough of him, to see there was light.
Job 29:3 ESV
His lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness.
At the end of this week in deeper shadows then I have ever encountered, I desire to say, “it is well with my soul.” And then, perhaps, my “soul will sing.” Along the steps of this journey, God has sent the dear and special candle flames of friends and family, to shine upon the shadows deepest darkness. God is so good!
Ecclesiastes 2:13 ESV
Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness.
As always I am thankful and grateful for God’s provision, even when it was too dark to see the way. I am thankful for prayers and for the opportunity to share in the lives of those whose lights are bright and generous.
Ephesians 5:8-9 ESV
… now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light  (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true).