Tuesday, 25 May 2010

What are you walking through?

Ps 23:4 ‘Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death’.

What are you walking through at his moment?
Pain, depression, testing, temptation, failure? Divorce, rogue kids, work problems, bereavement, sickness, financial pressure?

We are all walking through something.
I wish it could always be like the first three verses of Ps 23.
· Without want, green pastures, the smell of fresh mown grass and spring flowers.
· Quiet waters, gentle bubbling brook, the little water feature in the garden trickling gently.
· A restored soul that is emotionally balanced; a mind that is untroubled and without stress and worry, and a heart that is at peace with itself and all others.
· Walking in the confidence of right standing with God, with no un-confessed sin or wrong attitudes. A boldness of not only knowing you are in the right but enjoying the benefits of seeing the right thing worked out.

I wish we could always walk through things like that but you can’t.
Not even King David, with all his money, power, influence and charisma could always walk through good times.
It says of him in Acts 13:36 that he served God’s purposes in his generation, yet even obedience to God’s will didn’t ensure that he always walked in good times.

In Ps 23:4 he walks through the shadow of the valley of death.

It’s a great phrase! It says to me that he walked though the very depth of despair with the worst scenario hanging over him like a great black shadow.
However, we can all be encouraged by two words
1. ‘Through’.
Tough times come to pass.
What ever you are walking through will come to pass.
You may need to walk through it but don’t need to dwell in it
Why? Because v4 tells us the God who was with you in the blessing, in the green pasture and by the still water is with you now, ‘I will fear no evil, for you are with me’.
Not only that but he has his rod (Heb. Stick – for fighting i.e. club) and his staff (Heb. Support).
His strength and protection, his support and encouragement.
And they ‘Comfort me’.

2. ‘Though’.
‘Though I walk through…… I will not be afraid’.
Why? Because not only is God with you with power and support, he has a different ending for you.
Remember, what you ‘go through’ is not your ‘go to’!
Psalm 23 ends with, ‘I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever’.
Not only is the ‘go to’ better than the ‘go through’, even the ‘go through’ has got its perks!
a. v5 ‘You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies’
On Sept 2nd 1945 on board USS Missouri Japan unconditionally surrendered to the Allied forces.
Before the Allied command a table was set on which the documents were laid out and the Allied officers were seated.
The Japanese had to bow before the Allies to sign the papers.
b. v5 ‘You anoint my head with oil and my cup over flows’.
Often we can only appreciate this at holiday times when oil used to cool the skin in hot climates and protect against wind and sand.
Oil eases and removes friction.
Even as you ‘go through’ God makes sure that not only have you got enough to soothe your passage, your cup is full can over flow for other as well.
c. v6 ‘Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life’
· Note the certainty ‘Surely’ Without doubt! Not to be questioned. To be absolutely relied on.
· Note the constancy ‘Shall follow me’. Wherever you go, God’s goodness and love will follow you. You can’t escape it.
The Hebrew has to do with running after (usually with hostile intent).
God is so determined to bestow his goodness and kindness upon your life, that he aggressively pursues you to do it.
Live in the expectancy for him to catch you!!!

Note: ‘will follow me’ means when trouble comes it is a sure sign that G&L are sure to be on its heels.

So to conclude
I have learned that God never wastes a hurt.
Wherever you are walking today, you are going through because you have a go to.
Remember that though you are going through it there are some great things you can expect and enjoy.