April 4, 2008

Walking through the Valley

Nancy McGuirk

I hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions.  We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends.  From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry.  We call them our "Friday Friends."  So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our "Friday Friend",

Nancy McGuirk.

 

Today’s Truth

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. “ (Psalm 23:4 NIV)

 

Friend to Friend

Death always throws us into the valley . . . the place we least desire to go, and when we least expect to. It comes as a thief in the night, and steals away those we love, leaving us to mourn and grieve. Where we once stood on the mountaintop where the light in our lives had shined so brightly has become a cloud that is cast over all that we do.

 

Whether you have lost someone you loved, or you are faced with your own mortality, death can be devastating. When we walk through death’s valley, we come face-to-face with fear, and life seems suddenly to stop. Our soul is overwhelmed, our heart is broken, and we can barely walk, talk, or listen . . . much less carry on the routine of life.

 

Yet in that valley, we can choose to respond with a steadfast determination that shouts to the Lord, “I will fear no evil; for you are with me!” (Psalm 23:4). “There is nothing that can separate me from your love” (Romans 8:38–39). “You have promised always to be with me” (Hebrews 13:5).The claim of God’s promises brings light into a valley where all has grown dim.

 

For life is not what it seems. We may think we are alone but God is with us. Loss is terrible but not forever. Death seems permanent but is only temporary. Jesus died but was raised again. The power of the resurrection takes on a new meaning when we face our own crucifixions.

 

Saying good-bye to loved ones is excruciatingly painful. But slowly and most assuredly, God provides comfort and brings light back into our lives. He leads us out of the valley and back onto the mountaintop where the view becomes crystal clear again.

 

We need not fear death, for Christ has conquered death in His resurrection. Death may separate us for a time, but Christ will reunite us forever.

 

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, Thank You for the promise that death has been overcome in Christ. May I never again fear the prospect or the fact of death, but view it as a doorway to eternity with You. Amen.

 

Now It’s Your Turn

1. What do you fear most, if anything, about your own mortality? Regardless of your current age, how are you preparing to die?

2. How have you handled the death of friends or loved ones who are not believers in Christ? What sense of urgency do those deaths create in you about sharing the gospel?

3. What is the difference between fearing death and having a healthy respect for it? Knowing death could arrive at any moment, what does knowing Christ make?

 

More from the Girls

Living life against the backdrop of life changes everything! Perspective, focus, purpose, quality of life, relationships…everything! Death really has been swallowed up by the life Jesus Christ gave on Calvary. The grave has no sting, because death here is simply moving into perfect life…there! Do not let the enemy attack you with doubt and fear about where you will spend eternity. If you have a personal relationship with Christ, that destiny is already settled. Remember, He is Lord of the valley as well as the mountaintop.

 

 

 

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