Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (NASB)
Ever been in a holding pattern? You know, when you are circling and circling waiting for something to happen? Peter Allen wrote Arthur’s Theme (Google it) circling JFK airport. The lyrics go “When you get caught between the moon and New York City the best that you can do is fall in love.” He was literally caught between the moon and NYC in a very large flying tube that circled the airport for a very long time. I don’t think we ever found out if he ever fell in love.
Having major surgery 4 weeks ago I have found myself in that holding pattern. I am not able to sleep much, brain is fuzzy from the pain meds and TV has lost it’s charm. Reading my bible falls flat. Does that sound terrible? Unfeeling? I love God’s word with all of my heart but sleep deprivation mixed with my doctor’s pain med of choice and extreme frustration that things are not going as planned make for a teflon brain. Things don’t stick. I am in that valley we read about in Psalm 23.
In Psalm 23 David says “yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” Let’s break this down shall we? First, I am not even any closer to death than I am every day. Some days we feel like we are clomping through life gravity weighing our feet down. We are walking like we can hardly lift our feet off terra firma. We drag around like those people in the “before your energy drink” commercials. Life presses in on every side. This is just a partial list but I’ll bet you can relate to at least 1/2 a dozen
- House hold chores
- Is my house presentable if my Pastor drops by?
- Kids activities
- My activities
- Health issues
- My parents getting older; it falls on me.
- Am I spending enough time in God’s word?
- Am I praying enough?
- Am I serving enough?
- I’m 3 weeks behind in my bible study.
- My kids are always sick.
- I am always sick.
- Am I eating healthy?
- Do I exercise enough?
- Do I measure up?
- Am I still attractive to my spouse?
- Are my goals unrealistic?
- Am I sleeping enough?
- Is my smile white enough? Is the enamel on my teeth getting thin because we know when it’s gone that’s it!
- Can’t pay all of my bills. Not being a good steward.
- Didn’t volunteer for room mother (team mom, cookie sale mom)….again.
- Body parts obeying gravity.
- Brain on tilt!
The list is endless. I am sure I didn’t even scratch the surface so that “walking through the valley of the shadow of death” can look like anything and feel like more.
Being in that holding pattern can be frustrating or we can flip it (like they do those houses on HGTV) to our advantage. We all need a rest, a break, a time to regroup. As I lay here in this valley I asked God to use that rod and staff to comfort me. A shepherd uses the rod and the staff to keep their sheep moving in line. Their charges do not have to fear evil. The shepherd’s rod will protect them from predators, the staff will guide them safely home.
Those predators of our mind are relentless. We are not measuring up because we use the wrong measuring tool. As a child of the King, a little sheep of His pasture, we are precious to Him and worth defending. Why do we veer off course so often? The way of this world is a powerful magnet. If we let the message that we need to measure up rule us we will be like that little hamster on the spinning wheel. We will try and try and just end up with a big headache getting no where!
You are being held in that holding pattern dear one. The One holding you is there right by your side giving you this opportunity to rest in him. He is right beside you loving you through all of your issues and frustrations. You are being held by the King. You are in His favor. Let His scepter fall on your shoulder. You are accepted and approved. Be still and know. ️