October 25, 2010

Shadow of Death

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 25, 2010

“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 23:4

Everyone walks through life in the long shadow of death. There is no part of the globe where it can be avoided and no physical condition that it can escape. Death constantly knocks on the door of all demographics, all cultures and all classes of people. There are those who try to delay death’s affects with surgery, medicine, diet and exercise, but all eventually die.

Death for the dying can be a shadow of discomfort, discouragement and even despair. Its in death valley that faith is tested, families are stressed, and friends rally in prayer. How do you serve someone who is in their last months or days on earth? First you live before them a life of faith. A dying loved one needs love from those who know the Lord, so that they can come to know the Lord. Life in a valley needs care, comfort and heaven’s hope.

Like Saul and Jonathan allow death to bring you together as a family, “Saul and Jonathan— in life they were loved and gracious, and in death they were not parted” (2 Samuel 1:23a). Death is God’s reminder that we need Him and we need each other.

We all walk toward death—but in Christ—it is a passage to eternal life. It’s hard when a believing parent begins to lose their ability to think clearly, but we patiently listen to their irrational words, knowing one day they will speak with tongues of angels. It’s even harder when an unbelieving parent begins to lose their faculties, because we wonder if they truly know Jesus. So, we pray and trust that the reality of death brings them to the Lord.

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

Our faith in Jesus triumphs over death, and it also comforts us on the way to death. The destination of this life is death, but, when traveled with the Lord, there is no need to fear evil or the unknown. His presence is all we need to persevere in righteous living. Hope, peace and love are an outflow of walking with Jesus through the lonely valley of death.

Because of the Passion of Christ, death’s shadow is a passage through to paradise. The cross is a comfort to the dying and it is a bridge to heaven for those who believe in Jesus’ death for their sin, His resurrection for their abundant life on earth, and their eternal life in heaven. Jesus assured His disciples at His death, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22).

Am I walking with Jesus in my valleys? Who can I walk with through their valley?

Related Readings: Psalm 56:13; Proverbs 14:27; Isaiah 38:10; John 5:24; Romans 8:38

Boyd Bailey is the author of Wisdom Hunters daily devotional and two devotional books, Infusion and Seeking Daily the Heart of God


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