Monday, August 12, 2013

From Faith to Faith in the Valley of Death's Shadow

Good morning as we begin the week school starts here in our little town. It may be too early for school, but doesn't it feel good to remind those directly affected by it? Try to not add on the evil laugh after the reminder though, that is just poor manners. Some cat is fooling around with my boot. I must have stepped in some scent he finds attractive on my walk this morning. Setting the feline nonsense aside, what meaning do you find in a verse or phrase in the Bible?

Some would tell me to simply read the Bible for what it says and not try to come up with or add in a personal view or slant. I can understand that, but God gave me this mind and brain, and I like to put it to work on His Holy Word. When Isaiah mentions the land where death casts its shadow, or David writes of the valley of the shadow of death, I think of more than one place. In one, we live daily in the land where death casts its shadow. The fall of Adam gave us death and dying. Every day we wake up to tales of life's ending for someone. We know of those advanced in years who expect ol' Morty to show up at their door any day now. We also know that Death may visit us at any moment. A few persons die of heart attacks in their teens and twenties, what a blessing for me or you to live this long!

Another view of that dreaded valley is the life of the unbeliever. Those poor folks have taken out a mortgage, bought a house, and moved in to an address in the Valley of Death's Shadow. The Light is shining up on the mountain, but they don't want to see it. Like the family living a mile or two from the famous amusement park, they figure to visit one day, whenever one day comes.

Sleep is a trip through death's valley as well. We give up our thoughts and prayers to God and fall down into sleep, perhaps not to awaken until the last trumpet sounds calling the saints home. Surgery is a deeper valley within that larger valley of death, for we give up control of everything when that nurse wheels our table into the operating room. For those of us with experience, just writing about it sends a chill down the spine.

We also walk through the valley of death's shadow when our faith is tested. What basis for our fears except that of unbelief? Fear is the shadow of death, and in our seasons of not trusting in God and walking in un-faith, we traverse once more the valley of death's shadow. On the peak we left behind is faith in God, and on the peak ahead of us, where the Savior is leading us, is more faith in God. From faith to faith, we walk in the land where death casts its shadow. Not a fun place to walk, but we do not walk alone.

I am blessed with another morning; blessed be the name of our Lord!


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