Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
This world is a dangerous place. Though many of the people we meet on a daily basis are decent individuals, there are many others who can’t be trusted. You can never be too cautious. One doesn’t need to be walking down a dark alley anymore to get mugged. From visiting the internet in your own living room to shopping at the local mall there are those who will take you for all your worth, even down to stealing your identity.
There are other types of dangers, too. Each of us has within ourselves the ability to do wrong. The lure of bigger and better stuff draws some to steal while curiosity is often the hook that leads others to debilitating addictions. The list of temptations that we all face every day goes on and on. How do we find protection from unsavory characters as well as from our own sinful tendencies?
David, the young shepherd, knew the answer. He relied on the Lord, His perfect shepherd, to protect him from the danger that was ever present in the Judean hills. His ancient words have uplifted many throughout the years as they have relied on the same God to keep them from harm. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
Not only were the rod and staff weapons against dangerous enemies. They were used to guide the sheep in the right direction. I remember when we had 4-H hogs and we used a cane to direct the swine around the show ring. After working with them for a while we could just gently touch them with the stick and they would respond. Sometimes we had to give them a little swat in order to get their attention, but the cane was all we needed to direct these large animals.
Doesn’t it comfort you to think of our great God as your protector? He has everything He needs to provide, protect, and direct us in this world full of danger and temptation. So whether you fear what others can do or your own ability to withstand the pressure of evil, find peace in the God whose constant presence will always watch over you. Let His rod and His staff comfort you. – Love Mama
Sandra Sheridan is a county resident and guest columnist.