The Shepherd’s Care for His Sheep
What words come to mind when you think about a valley? The first part of Psalm 23 paints a picture of green pastures and abundant waters. It’s a restful, sheltered, and restorative place where every need is met and God’s care is evident. Some valleys, however, are inhospitable passages with deep shadows and restricted views of what lies ahead. In the “valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4), travelers feel vulnerable to all sorts of dangers.
For the Christian, green pastures and dark valleys are both a part of life. There are times when God’s abundant outward blessings are obvious, and we respond in joy and gratitude. But on other occasions, we’re surrounded by darkness, loss, and pain. Obscured by shadows, the path to the future is filled with fearful uncertainties—the way seems long, with no end in sight.
However, the same Shepherd who cares for us in the green pasture also remains by our side in the dismal valley and leads us though. No circumstance can keep His goodness and lovingkindness from us. We can count on His comfort and protection throughout life’s journey—until we safely reach our Father’s house.