There’ll be no Dark Valley…

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

This classic verse of the promise of God’s presence is the hinge verse of the famous 23rd Psalm.  Until verse 4, God is spoken of in the third person. But now, in the valley of the shadow of death, there can be no safe distance of theory; it is here that the immediacy of Your (God’s) presence is most needed.  And it is God’s presence that we most want.

Would you want to go into the valley of the shadow of death if you could know His presence? If that’s what it took to know it?

Yes – in fact – you’d go to that place if you had the courage and faith. Of course we prefer the green pastures – beside the still waters… but in life, we will go through the dark places whether by being led, or by our own headstrong will.

I have been through dark valleys. And I (and you) will likely go through more. That isn’t pessimistic – it’s just the reality of the spiritual life.  But it is there – where so often we come to realize God’s presence that cannot be taken for granted as we might whilst enjoying pastures and waters.

Today’s prayer comes from the hymn written by William Cushing (circa 1896).  It is a soulful prayer of hope for that time when there will be no dark valley… when Jesus comes. For a soulful rendition, listen to Isabel Simpson & Lindell Cooley.

There’ll be no dark valley when Jesus comes,

There’ll be no dark valley when Jesus comes;
There’ll be no dark valley when Jesus comes
To gather His loved ones home.

Refrain

To gather His loved ones home (safe home),
To gather His loved ones home (safe home);
There’ll be no dark valley when Jesus comes
To gather His loved ones home.

There’ll be no more sorrow when Jesus comes,
There’ll be no more sorrow when Jesus comes;
But a glorious morrow when Jesus comes
To gather His loved ones home.

Refrain

There’ll be no more weeping when Jesus comes,
There’ll be no more weeping when Jesus comes;
But a blessèd reaping when Jesus comes
To gather His loved ones home.

Refrain

There’ll be songs of greeting when Jesus comes,
There’ll be songs of greeting when Jesus comes;
And a joyful meeting when Jesus comes
To gather His loved ones home.

William Orcutt Cushing (1823-1902)

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About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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