Summary: “Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”
You Never Walk Alone
Some years ago I read a most thrilling book entitled ‘We Who Walk Alone”. It concerned a Spanish-American War veteran who had contracted leprosy in the Philippines and had been sent back to a leper’s hospital to be isolated from home and loved ones until cure or death would release him. But even a leper need not walk alone. No Christian walks alone. Christians have the promise of God’s presence. Our Lord made it plain to His sorrowing disciples that even though he was about to go away, they would not be left alone nor forsaken.
I. That we need not walk alone is attested to by David in Ps 23:4. “Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” in Psalm 139:7-11 David says, “Whither shalt I go from they Spirit, or whither shalt I flee from thy Presence.” David gives us some possible escape routes, saying, “If I ascend up into heaven, though art there. If I make my bed in Hades, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” If I say “Sure, by the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. The darkness and the light are both alike to Thee.” He couldn’t think of one place where he could go to escape the presence of the Lord.
B. Isaiah the Prophet (43:1-2) wrote:
But now, saith the Lord that created thee O Jacob, and He that formed thee O Israel, fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name, thou art mine, when thou passest through the waters I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee, when you walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee, for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy one of Israel, thy Savior.”
C. In Acts 17:27-28 the Apostle Paul wrote: “He is not far from everyone of us, for in Him we live and move, and have our being.”
D. From modern times, explorers add their testimony. Sir. J? Franklin, seeking the Northwest Passage, “found the Lord walking on all the waters”. Ernest Shackleton testified to the Lord’s presence with him amid the icy wastes of Antarctica. Sir Grenfell felt the hand of another steering his craft through the rough waters, and those with him felt the presence of another person on board. Other Christian missionaries bear witness to a sense of nearness of their Lord as He led them through the jungles of South America and New Guinea. The list of names could be greatly extended. I can not believe that such men and women were deluded. It would be almost impossible to believe that if they were deluded, that they could all possibly have been affected by the same delusion.
II. That we never walk alone is attested to in the practical working religion of everyday Christians.
Leslie Weatherhead writes that the nearness of Christ in the lives of ordinary person is evidenced by certain signs:
A. Their inward reinforcement of personality. As the NEB translates Phillip 4:13, “I have strength for anything through Him who gives me power.” Thousands of Christ’s followers know that they have done better with His help than they could have done alone. They have faced difficulties, trials, tribulations, which they could not have faced alone. From football players to poets, all sorts of people have known the reinforcement of personality which comes from Christ’s nearness.
B. True gaity of spirit is a mark, according to Weatherhead, of men and women who know that they do not walk alone. A humble Christian came to his pastor and said, “Can you guess what is the happiest time I have in religion?” The pastor replied, “Revival meetings? Prayer?” “Well, it’s not exactly when I pray, it is when I’m alone praying, and God and I are just chatting. Silent dialogue between my soul and the Father in heaven.” Do we know this kind of happiness?
C. Deep serenity of spirit is another mark. Christians can trust and not be afraid. Finney, the great Evangelist, tells us that he was once crossing the Atlantic, when the steamer was overtaken by a fierce storm. Upon deck everything was noise and confusion. Finney stepped into the engine room and found everything was quiet. The mighty engine was working with a stillness which was in striking contrast to the roar of the storm without. So God gives courage, strength, and quietness to storm tossed souls who come to Him in prayer.