IN THE VALLEY WITH JESUS
Psalm 23:1-6 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
 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.
 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
For our text today we have what some may consider some of the greatest words ever penned on paper. They are pure because they are from God’s heart to ours but even to the one who refuses to acknowledge God or know HIM as the Chief Shepherd; this Psalm is heralded all over the world as a literary masterpiece. For just a moment, use your imagination and place yourself upon a mountaintop looking down. As your eyes look down from the mountain and you are enjoying the beauty of God’s creation; there you see below some sheep grazing in the valley beneath the mountain. The sheep are down there in the valley because when the snow melts atop the mountain the water runs down the slopes and fills those valleys with lush and green grass! Praise the Lord for my Pastor who often reminds me and our church that “The green pastures are not found upon the mountain tops, they are found down in the valleys.” Hallelujah!
How strong and powerful are the words of David when he said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;” David knew in the valleys was where the richest and most satisfying feedings for God’s lambs was found. David knew this because he was a shepherd. He also knew that the shepherd NEVER leaves HIS sheep, even in the darkest of valleys and or death.
I love these words, “for thou art with me.” There is truly only one thing that sheep need, and that is their shepherd and to know that HE is near! My Christian friend, these are God’s love words to you. You never walk the valleys alone when you are God’s child and it is there that your hungry soul will be strengthened and satisfied. Your greatest times of spiritual growth will come when you are in those valleys, not when you’re up on the mountaintops. The valleys are the pathways to the mountains. Embrace your valleys as God’s divine appointments. The valley can be a place where HE CHANGES YOU, renewing your soul and strengthening you. God intends for us to live in the lush valleys not up on the mountaintops. God doesn’t make barren valleys and HE will never lead you to one where HE can’t feed you there. Today, if find yourself down in a valley, know that Jesus (your shepherd) lead you there because HE loves you! Friend, you are IN THE VALLEY WITH JESUS, HE has not left you! Let HIM feed you, and lead you today and may you not want for anything else but to know Jesus is near!
We must pass through the valleys if we’re ever to reach the mountain.
Bro. Lawrence Longworth Isaiah 61:1 “the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”