Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Valley of the Shadow

Tomorrow morning I'm stepping down into the valley. You know, the valley mentioned in Psalm 23:4 - the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Whoaaa...that sounds heavy. It IS heavy. At least from my perspective. I'm placing my life in the hands of skilled surgeons, but knowing that they are skilled does not preclude a ton of possibilities. And for several days now, those possibilities have been going through my mind. The valley is deep and the shadows are long and they loom heavy. If we get our preferences (or our druthers), I'd much prefer not to have to go there. But druthers don't count for much in most of our life.

A friend reminded me of Daniel 3:17-18 wherein Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answer King Nebuchadnezzar. The king has assigned them to the fiery furnace for their refusal to bow down to the golden image (idol) set up by the king. The three say this, "...our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."

Get it? The three were worshippers of the Creator God, the Almighty God, the Only God. And whether God caused them to walk into death or to remain in life, they acknowledged Him as their God. And then, marvelously we read Daniel 3:25. Nebuchadnezzar is astonished to see a fourth person in the midst of the fiery furnace...and says the fourth one's appearance is "like a son of the God's". An angel? The pre-incarnate Christ? Whichever, we know that this person is protecting the three.

God causes each one of us to walk our own individual can't walk mine and I can't walk yours. Where God takes me is God's business...and if it is His business, how can I object to where He takes me? How can I complain, as Job did, that He is not treating me fairly? God has all our days written before we are ever born. I can look back and see nothing but God's blessings on my life. I have no complaints.

Surely God's mercy is with me at all times. Psalm 23:6.


Angoraknitter said...

Going into the valley is a good way to describe how one feels before surgery. I remember that well from last summer. I'll be thinking and praying over you, and hope you'll update us as soon as you can when you're on the other side of all this.

Forrest said...

As you may or may not know through my wife (Paula). I have lived in the fiery furnace of secondary-progressive Multiple Sclerosis for several years.

Your post is such an encouragement. Thank you.

Proverbs 12:25 appropriately says: "Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad." :)

Diane said...

I will be praying for you, dear sister, that the peace that passes understanding will be yours and your family's, that the surgeons will have God's skill and discernment, and that His hand will be on you for healing.

Paula said...

We'll be praying for you tomorrow. We will be praying for the mercy of the Lord in your life. Deuteronomy 31:8

cinnamongirl93 said...

All of my prayers are with you dear child of the Kind. I pray- Philippians{4:7} And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
God bless you friend.