“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and staff, they comfort me” – Psalm 23:4 (NIV).
A valley is one of those contours common to the planet earth. Valleys happen as a result of some shaking beneath the earth’s plates or, erosion from rains and floods, leaving a depressed area of land which is surrounded by the more elevated ones. In East Africa there is the famous Rift Valley which is a sunken expanse of land stretching along the borders.
Travellers, particularly if on foot, know the often frightening experience of going through a valley. One might have been passing through a stretch of land where the passage is smooth and everything pleasant to see. Then suddenly one descends into a valley. If you are not familiar with the path fear can grip you. Surrounded by more raised earth and seeming to go further down, you can be frightened of descending into the abyss. Valleys, unlike plains, may not offer that clear sunlight due to obstruction, are often dark and filled with dangerous traps.
Our lives too can find themselves in a valley. This can be after a comfortable walk through a more pleasant stretch. We then find ourselves in a valley, sometimes forced on us because of factors beyond us, like a pandemic, sweeping us suddenly to the bottom. Because they are unfamiliar and dark, valleys can shake anyone.
Now if you are in a valley do not be troubled because that is when to raise your eyes to God. Surrounded by unfamiliar horizons be inspired by David who declared that he would “fear no evil” in spite of being in the darkest valley “for your are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (verse 4).
Today whatever valley you may find yourself know that you will soon rise above and make it through. This is because, as David remembered well, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me, all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (verse 6).
Prayer for today: Lord father God of creation, today as I find myself going through the valley of life, I know your goodness is with me, because I am your child, and you shall lift me up, because you refresh my soul, and shall make me lie down in green pastures and lie besides quiet waters, for you love is ever with me!
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“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”- (Philippians 4:6).
Perhaps you have heard of a certain old magical trade known as mind reading. According to this trade which has been around for millenniums and has its share of tricksters, mind readers are able to discern thought patterns of individuals before they even utter a word. There are places in the world where this, as expected, is a lucrative occupation, with practitioners, often crafty magicians, demanding hefty fees, just to tell thoughts of others.
As Christians, of course, we have an all knowing God, who has said, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” ( Mathew 6:8). Further, our Lord has pointed out, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” ( Mathew 6:7). As Christians when we come to God, we do so with full confidence, that He already knows our needs and will meet them according to his glorious riches in heaven.
Of particular interest for us here is that while God perfectly knows our needs before we even dare utter a single word, still it is incumbent upon us to make our requests known to Him. A parent may have long noticed a child has a need for a new pair of shoes; but it is another dimension, when the child does come out and share aloud that his pair is worn out, hurting and is quite in need of a new one. The parent takes notice, especially when the matter is presented with such conviction and urgency. This is why Hannah cried out to God for a child ( 1 Samuel 1:9-18).
In our relationship with God, as the Apostle Paul advises us, it is not just enough to assume and let matters be, that after all God knows all our needs, but we too bear a responsibility to make our requests known to Him. Once we are done with that, we let God do His part, allowing “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7) to flood us.
So, today, do not hold back your needs from the Almighty God. He has paved the way to walk to Him through His son Jesus Christ, to present your case, bear out your heart’s desire, and let Him do His part!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to make my requests known to you, knowing you have heard me even before I utter a single word, assured that you will meet each and every one of my needs, according to your glorious riches in heaven!