Even if you aren’t super versed in the Bible, I’m sure you’ve heard this. Yea, 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 (Psalms 23:4 NKJV). I would be pretty certain that the twenty-third Psalm is recited more at public gatherings than just about any other scripture. Isn’t it interesting that just hearing that verse, no matter where you are in life, brings comfort? There’s something about knowing God is in control of everything that brings hope. Also interesting is the fact that the author is not talking about actual death in this passage. He’s talking about the “shadow” of death. A shadow is an exaggerated version of a real thing. This “shadow” was meant to scare the writer but God’s presence was there and brought complete safety. The Lord’s presence in this situation was actually the light that exposed the darkness of the reality of death. Even though this was unseen to the naked eye, it brought comfort and made the traveler feel safe enough to keep going.
Shadows are interesting. They always need light to make them. Be sure that The Light is always the stronger force. You can find yourself in a dark situation and the light of the Lord can change everything! Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, from the wicked who oppress me, from my deadly enemies who surround me (Psalms 17:8-9 NKJV). This shadow is comforting and powerful! Just being in the shadow of the Almighty brings comfort and protection. His rescuing power is always available. His light can shine on darkness from anywhere creating a threatening environment to your earthly enemies. The shadow of the Lord scares and drives out the enemy on your behalf. It hides you away from them, but exposes and destroys the evil you’re facing. How awesome is that? Everything belongs to Jesus and He can use what is seen and unseen to protect us.
Shadows often represent something that is not tangible but points to something that is. If I see a shadow of a dog, I may not be able to get close enough to pet the dog, but I assume the dog is there. I can’t see what color its eyes are, the color of its fur or if it’s young or old. I just know a dog is present. That’s the way it is sometimes with the Lord. We can’t see everything He’s doing, but we know He’s there. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them (Acts 5:14-15 NKJV). Peter’s shadow falling on sick people was enough to bring healing. It was not Peter. He was full of the Lord’s Holy Spirit and power. His shadow pointed to the mighty works of God. Jesus was intangible at this point but living on in the lives of His believers. The people understood that the power of the light of the Lord was present. This is still the fact today.
Obviously, shadows are used by the Lord to protect His people. They’re often a type of “exaggeration” that comforts His children but confuses His enemies. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow (James 1:17 NLT). This passage reminds us that He stays steadfast. We can always count on Him. So the next time you find yourself in the valley of “the shadow of death”, don’t worry. Know that the Light creating the shadow is permeating from the very One holding you close by the hand. He will protect you. He will never let you go. He’s way bigger than the darkness you face. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it (John 1:5 NLT). Just His shadow is enough! He’s your Protector. What a mighty God we serve!
Today’s writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband Robby and cat Harold.