The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Psalm 23 is probably the most well known of all the Psalms, and most believers know all or parts of it by memory.  It was the first scripture I memorized in Portuguese, and it’s one I’ve read over and over again.  Lately, I’ve been finding myself dwelling on one particular part… verse 4… which states:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (or through the darkest valley), I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You see, we all have different valleys. We all have different troubles and hardships. We all face different dangers and perils. Yet none of us should be walking through them alone.

My world has been turned upside down in the past month, just by moving to a new location.  My valley has become my neighborhood.

As I step outside my door, I am faced with a path full of dangers. I walk down my street and I am constantly stepping over drug needles, used condoms, broken beer bottles, waste, filth, and even people.  I am daily pestered by drunk men, who know not of what they say or do.  I pass by male transvestite prostitutes, who are looking to score their next trick. I am appalled seeing two elderly men, snorting cocaine, but barely able to keep their aging hands from shaking.  All these things are a glimpse into death, and all these people are living as a shadow.

But, just as David was facing his valleys, I must face mine too.  David was not alone, and neither am I.  I’ve started quoting this verse as I am walking to and from my place… and its been giving me such a spirit of peace. I might always be disgusted and saddened by what I see on a daily basis, but one thing I will not be is afraid!

…for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.


About Maureen Hochdorf

Writer. Editor. High Techi. Non-Profit Founder. Traveler. Sports Lover. Star Wars Fanatic. Tel Aviver. Michigander.... View all posts by Maureen Hochdorf

14 responses to “The Valley of the Shadow of Death

  • Joseph

    That is amazing Mo. You always seem to find positive within the toughest of situations…love it.

    I wish I was able to do the same…lately I tend to dwell on the stupid, and let it overwhelm me. Never have been this way, but for some reason I am now.

    New position within my company which I hate (strong word I know but true) and it is taking over my life…I will figure it out, hopefully soon. This is a good reminder though on where I need to focus.

  • notjustlaura

    Wow – this sounds like something *I* could not handle. But God can …

  • David Cook

    Mo ur a brave 1, Psalms 91:1.

  • Jace

    i was praying this Psalms this morning.

    oh how I love your heart friend 🙂

  • @ngie

    Maureen, thank you for painting the picture of your soul for us right now. You are an amazing lady! I agree with you for comfort today in the face of fearful situations. Just keep walking, girl. You are a light because the Light lives in you. Blessings!

  • Chrystie

    I love the post, Mo! I am continually amazed at the courage, passion and dedication you exhibit. I will be praying for you. Please let me know if there is anything you need or anything I can do for you! Love ya!

  • Tim

    Many prayers coming your way Maureen. Be safe!

  • judi

    Mo, Psalm 34:7 says, “The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them.” Our Bible
    study this week is all about Psalm 34 and fearing (reverence) God. You do that constantly, so the promise in this verse is yours. The word “encamp” means “pitches his tent” around you! Good to pray and praise as you come and go in the very neighborhood in which our Lord has led you to serve Him!!! Remember, “GOoDness and mercy follows you! Love and prayers, Judi

  • Rebecca

    my heart hurts for the people you see in shadows of death each day…praying for you as you walk among them. I know god will protect you and use you to do mighty things, i’m proud of you!

  • Philippa

    Hi Maureen, as I leave my rural property today I will take particular note of what I see on the way there and think of the complete contrast to what you see.

    Thank you so much for making me really think about this. My eyes will be wide open today. Smiles..

  • Theresa

    My prayers and heart are with you. My you also carry the strength that I seem to be missing lately. I would like to think that it has been transported into you.

    Thank you for the reminder that even in my darkest moments….there are darker things that are more important to battle and slay.

  • donna o

    It has been several weeks since I made my way over to your part of the www. Once again I am encouraged by the strength and wisdom the Lord has given you. Keeps my life in perspective—I whine about little insecurities and troubles but I forget that there is a world out there so hurting and dying in the shadows of death. I need to more of a prayer warrior for the souls of the people that do not know Him. praying for you to be kept in His perfect peace!

  • Joyful

    Praying for you Mo.
    Thank you for reaching the unreached.
    God Bless

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