Several years ago we all thought it was cool to wear stuff that said “No Fear”. (I know, I know, I’m getting old…) As if screaming our claim to courage made it more real. The truth is we were all full of fear. Afraid to fail, afraid to fall, afraid to be shunned or ignored or forgotten…
I was reading Psalm 23 today and noticed something I’ve never noticed before. (I kind of feel dumb that I didn’t see it there one of the hundreds of times I’ve heard this verse before.) Maybe it’s the way the verses are broken up by numbers, or the way the verse is usually reserved for funerals and memorials, but for whatever reason I never noticed this before: (now forget about verse numbers & funerals for a second and read this)
“He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me…”
I’ve kind of always known this (counter to what some people think of their Christian religion), but I’ve never noticed it in this Psalm before – if I follow God, He may lead me to and through dark places. Sometimes church people live as if God is always making them “lie down in green pastures” next to still waters. But don’t ever forget that the path of righteousness leads us on a rescue mission right through the middle of the valley of the shadow of death! (Picture Frodo & Sam approaching Mordor.)
:: Real Courage isn’t wearing a No Fear t-shirt as you soar over a fun box; it’s following your creator into the depths of your “Mordor” knowing that He’s there with You.
:: If your life is all about still waters and green pastures, you may need to stop grazing and figure out where the Shepherd went.