“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalms 23:4, NIV2)
Fear runs rampant in our world. Just watching the news makes you wonder if there will even be a tomorrow. The stress at work as well as in our society robs us of our peace. Relationships are often tense, and disease is on the rise. All of this leads to confusion and absolute dread.
It gets worse when we receive bad news: illness, a death in the family, salary cuts, job loss, divorce, betrayal, abandonment. . . Those are the darkest valleys in life, and they often leave us shivering in fear. In such times we have the tendency to feel completely abandoned. No one understands!
In 1982, panic took root in the home of a poor family in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Their pet mysteriously disappeared. They looked everywhere but found nothing. Where could it be? How would it survive if they couldn’t find it?
Eventually the search for the lost pet was abandoned and life went on for the next thirty years. Unfortunately the father of the family passed away then, and his home was cleaned out. It’s amazing how much junk we tend to collect over the years! I thought I was bad, but when I discovered one of my colleagues has kept all his newspapers in the basement of his home since he was 18 years old, I was completely flabbergasted. He is now 62! Could he even enter his basement now?
The family in Rio de Janeiro was no better. The father collected a lot of junk as well. We never know when we will need a spare part after all! In fact he had a special room dedicated to all of these “spare” parts that would never again see the light of day once they were “neatly” stored in that “special” room.
Too bad. If the family had been a bit more proactive with those “spare” parts, they might have discovered their lost pet! Thirty years later, while cleaning out that room, one of the boys, now grown up, found their lost pet sitting beside a broken record player (which is, of course, now completely obsolete). The amazing thing is that the pet was still alive, after 30 years!
But then, turtles are quite a bit hardier than most other pets.
Can you imagine being locked up in complete darkness in a room full of junk for 30 years? Any of us would have gone crazy. Panic would have overcome us, devouring us from head to foot, not to mention right down to our toe nails as well! We would have suffocated, and if somehow we would have survived that, we would have died from hunger if not from a heart-attack!
But the turtle never panicked. Maybe it knew more about its Maker than any of us! It survived by eating termites from the wooden floor. No wonder the owners never detected these little pests!
Still, how did it survive without water?
There was a happy reunion in Rio de Janeiro. The lost pet has been found. Even in the darkest closet we have nothing to fear, as long as we depend on God.
King David experienced many dark valleys, betrayed by his own king and later, by his own son. He was chased with the intent of being exterminated, he was criticized and ridiculed. Death awaited him at every corner. Still, he discovered that Someone was willing to sustain him, even though he may at times have felt that he was completely abandoned.
During this time David grew close to the One who would never abandon him. He learned that as long as God was with him, he had absolutely nothing to fear. Anything that reminded him of His Father in Heaven brought him comfort. He could face anything! Bring it on!
It may be dark where you are, and you may feel that you are completely abandoned. Never forget! God will never abandon you! You have nothing to fear! He will bring you through!
P. S. Do you have a cup of water by any chance?
(To access the entire “Devotions From the Psalms” devotional series, please click here.)