February 3, 2022

The God Who Is Near

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Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.  Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. Psalm 23:4

 

It was still dark when the sounds of the Muslim call to prayer woke me up.  My father said, “Get dressed!  Let’s go explore!”  I was probably 11, but not too old to clasp my dad’s hand tightly as we left our hotel. I’ll never forget wandering the awakening streets and markets of Ammon, Jordon.  I was entranced…and terrified.  But with dad by my side, I knew I was safe.

I think back to that day when I read Psalm 23 in the Bible.  David’s experience was something much more terrifying than a foreign city is to a young girl.  “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, or “the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me,” David penned (Psalm 23:4).

Now I knew my father would never take me into a situation that was not safe or defensible.  I knew, who was beside me. So, David’s proximity to his protector made all the difference. “I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me,” and “The Lord is near to all who call on him,” David repeated in other Psalms (Psalms 16:8, 145:18).

You and I need not fear the valley we are in today or the final valley between here and eternity.  Scripture says that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).  Jesus, the Good Shepherd, leads all who will be led by Him (John 10:27).

 

Resource reading:  John 10:1-30