He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 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. (Psalm 23:3–4)
The grace of God will find you. No matter where you’ve gone or how far you have drifted, nowhere is out of the reach of God’s grace.
This is the truth behind David’s words in Psalm 23:3–4. The focus is on the Lord’s active nearness as the shepherd of his people. The Lord makes us to lie down in green pastures. He leads us beside the still waters. He restores our souls and leads us in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
This is a boundless nearness. It is a nearness even in the valley of the shadow of death.
In the Shadow of Death
That is a popular phrase, and therefore, we should linger over these words. Do we really know what David is saying? “Even though,” he begins, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. . .” (verse 4). This is death, remember. Death. It is the great enemy of mankind, the place that every person will go — and go alone. Death stands off in the darkness, hunkering down in the shadows of our lives like a monster. It is terrible, lonely, fearful. But not for David — not for us who are in Christ.
Why? Because God is with us.
The grace of God will find us. We won’t be afraid. We will fear no evil. Our shepherd is with us even there. Just like Jesus wasn’t forsaken in the tomb — and because of Jesus — we won’t be forsaken either. God will be with us. Like yesterday, and now, God will be with us even there.
Help for Today
So what does that mean for us now when we’re not in that shadow? How does the assurance of God’s nearness in our final moments of this life help us today?
It means that if God is with us in our greatest affliction — in the shadow of death — he will be with us in all the other afflictions of our lives. Painful as they are, as dark as the night may get, we know it is not too painful for God. It is not too dark for him.
God is there as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death — and he is there in every valley along the way. His grace will find us. That grace that saw us before the foundation of the world, that spoke creation into existence, that led Jesus to the cross, that will abound for us in eternity — that grace will find us.
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are. The great grace of God is able to reach you. God in his grace is able to be there with you. In the midst of pain and uncertainty, in the high of blessing and cheer, God is with you. His grace will find you.