Summary: With each step in the valley, He is always moving us closer to Him.

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Following the Shepherd

Ps 23:4

Yea, 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.

David wrote this tremendous verse of the Bible drawing from his own experience of being a shepherd. What the shepherd would do for his sheep David realize that the God will also do the same for those who follow Him.

One Shepherd writes:

“Every mountain has it valleys. Deep ravines, gulches, scar its sides but the best way to he top is always through the valleys. Every shepherd familiar wit the high country knows this. He will lead his flock gently, but persistently up the paths that wind through the dark valleys.

Often our good shepherd will do the same with us. Take us to a mountaintop through a dark valley. With each step in the valley, He is always moving us closer to Him.

God said some same to Moses: Ex 33:14.. He said,” My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." NKJV

To Jacob: Gen 28:15… Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go,

To Joshua: Josh 1:5…. I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.

The good shepherd is with you with every step and because he is, you can clearly say I will fear no evil, your rod and staff they comfort me.

There are several areas of life this powerful verse deals with. Let us take them one ata time:

1) Grief …

The time will always come to deal with grief.

We go through the process of a loved one or friend starting their life in eternity and we are left behind. We think we have dealt with it and we said our goodbyes.

Then as silently as a cloud slips between you and the afternoon sun, memories drift between you and your joy. No warning, no notice, just a certain smell, or a special song, and you are saying goodbye all over again.

Why does this grief continue? Why won’t sorrow leave your alone?

Because, more than a person is absent from your life. Some of “who you are” is missing also. You are dealing with un-lived tomorrows so you battle along with sorrow, disappointment as well. Living in the house with sorrow in anger. Anger at the sickness, the highway, the person, or what ever you see and the primary cause. Mostly people become angry at God. You see this in the questions, Why? Why now? What reason? Why us?

Quote John Donne, “Any mans death diminished me”.

We have to start at the foundation of all we know to deal with grief.

Ps 25:8… Good and upright is the LORD; NKJV

Ps 34:8… Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; NKJV

Our God is Good and will do only what is good. We may never understand all His actions but we must trust his heart.

We must believe: Ps 139:15-16… You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book! TLB

Grief must be faced and dealt with. We cannot side step the pain for it will continue to grab our heart.

Ps 23:4..through the valley of the shadow of death, the shepherd will lead and guide and eventually the grief will diminish as the shepherd influence grows.

2) Fear Ps 23:4… I will fear no evil,

What brings fear to your life? Boarding a plane? Driving on the highway? Facing a crowd? Public Speaking? Small rooms? Closed doors? Taking a Job? High places? Darkness? Being alone? The future? The past?

The source of your fear may seem small to other but it freezes you in your tracks. A lump forms in your stomach. Your heart picks up a few beats and the sweat gland start working over time.

Ill Jesus: In the Garden

Luke 22:41-42… And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done NKJV

Luke 22:44… being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. NKJV

Mark 14:35… He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, NKJV

Matt 26:37-38… he began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. NKJV

Paint this scene in your mind of Jesus:

• Flat on the ground,

• Face in the grass

• Extended hands digging in the dirt

• His body rising and falling in sobs of anguish

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