"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
There is much contentment that comes from following Christ. Yet the “valley of the shadow of death” is a path believers must occasionally walk. Unlike the dark paths of our own choosing, this is one Jesus leads us to for a purpose.
This metaphor is consistent with the livelihood of real sheep and shepherds. The best summer grazing is often only to be found in the high mountain pastures. The way to get there is to walk through a long succession of valleys and ravines. For sheep, this is not only terrifying because of the difficult terrain, but also because this is the place where they are most vulnerable to predators.
Fear is a rational reaction in circumstances like this, but the sheep of Psalm 23 are unafraid. Why? Because their shepherd is walking beside them; he is an armed warrior, and the predators fear him.
We often think of Jesus as gentle and kind, which brings comfort when we are broken and wounded. Yet in times of danger, remember that it is His strength and matchless power that we cling to.
IT IS NOT ONLY THE SHEPHERD WHO WALKS WITH YOU; THERE ARE OTHER SHEEP AS WELL. HE INTENDS US TO ALSO STRENGTHEN