Sunday evening I stood by the bedside of a friend... a 47 year old man who had struggled and fought with his body betraying him. I listened to Kez his wife tell about how he had also struggled with the Lord. What made this a bitter sweet time is that Kevin, in struggling with the Lord, I believe from what Kez told me, received answers from the Lord... and so, there was a resolve... a release that took place in Kevin's heart and soul.
The next day I pondered many things. One being a portion of the 23rd Psalm. " Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I fear no evil, for You are with me."
Some phrases in this that played over in my mind were... "walk through". For the Christian, death is not a wall, but a doorway. We proceed through this doorway with Him. We may be weary, even injured, but we arrive at our destination. How? Because the Lord Jesus is with us with every step we take.When we "walk through"the valley, He is right there with us.
The second phrase is, " shadow of death". I was thinking about shadows. You could be walking down a trail in the woods and come across the shadow of a bear. The shadow itself cannot hurt you. It is just a play of the light reflecting a certain way that makes the shadow. A shadow can only be seen when the sun is shining! This is not a cloudy, gloomy day for the Christian. So when we are walkingwith the Lord, we need not fear the "shadow" of death, for it's just a shadow. When you are a child and you first discover a shadow, you may be afraid until your Mom or Dad that is with you explains it. They may say, "Oh honey, there's no need to be afraid, it's only a shadow and shadows can't hurt you." I believe this is what it's like for the Christian when they face death. We don't need to fear death because when Christ is walking with us, it's only a shadow.
In Randy Alcorn's book,"If God is Good" he says, " Although death is the last enemy, the ghastly result of the Fall and the Curse, Christ made death a passageway into the loving presence of God, "Sothat by His death He might destroy him who holds the powers of death- that is, the devil- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." Hebrews 2: 14-15) Christ has liberated us from the need to fear death." Why? Because He conquered death!
So for the Christian, when we come to the end of our journey here in this life, we can continue to "walk through". We can walk through the valley of the "shadow of death", where God will comfort and calm fears, where our cups can overflow, and this is a place where we can rejoice and look forward to an eternity of being with our good and loving God.
So, walk through Kevin, and walk on with your Lord, dear Brother. It was just a shadow, and the Son is shining bright on the other side!