This week I was strongly encouraged as I attended a prayer conference in the Poconos for our district churches (NY & NJ). As I was reading Psalm 23 while overlooking the beautiful fall leaves that grace the tops of the of the Pocono mountains, I read these familiar words in verse 4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me: Your rod and your staff , they comfort me. ”
It is easy to believe these words while sipping a cup of hot coffee overlooking the tops of the mountains, but it is a whole different story when we find ourselves in the dark valley below. There are times the Lord may call us to walk through a valley, but we are unwilling to follow. Only when we walk closely with Jesus we willingly follow Him into the valley of the shadow of death. Did you catch that? We are “following” Him into this place and therefore He is with us! Are there places the Lord is calling you to follow, but fear, anxiety or selfishness (a big one for me) keep you from following? As the men of Sojourn, it is imperative that we be men who willingly follow Jesus wherever He may lead, even the valleys at times. Our job is simply to stay close to Him and as we do this we are able to say the words of Psalm 23:4 with confidence, “I fear no evil, for you are with me; Your Rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
There are many valleys in our culture that need Godly men to follow Jesus into them. Let us have ears to hear and eyes to see where Jesus is leading and without hesitation follow! Remember, we are walking “through” the valley, not camping and will therefore come out on the other side!