Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way. [Psalms 23:4 TLB]

At thirty-nine years old my first wife, Ellen, had heart and kidney failure. At the brink of her death I found myself begging God to not let her die. I could not accept her situation or the possibility of her death. Three and a half years later after praying almost daily for her healing. Never giving up. I found myself again faced with the possibility of her dying.

Driving to work one day. Racked with the agony of thoughts of a world without Ellen. I began to pray in the Spirit. I saw a picture in my mind. In this vision I saw myself standing on a mountain looking down at a valley. Some how I knew it was the valley of the shadow of Ellen's death. As I looked into the vision I saw Jesus come to my side, take my hand, and walk with me into the valley.

It was a comforting picture. God was trying to tell me that he would be with me when Ellen died. This is the image that I hold on to when life dips down into a valley. Hard times are opportunities to press into divine comfort. Times to sense the presence, and the hand, of God. Valleys are the seasons in life that point us to our need for God. Though unpleasant, they are necessary.

Help us Lord to know you are with us when we are facing down ours fears.

... this devotion is part of the z2a bible words series.

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