But God- The Valley Does Not Define Us


As we continue in the 4th verse of Psalms 23, let's look today at the last line. You recall the verse, 'Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me'. Thus far, we've looked at the shadow and the valley and that we get through them. Today let's look at David's response and how we might have the correct response.

But God Image_Color_CrossLet's be clear about one thing- we all have had, and will have valleys to go through. The valleys are dark and deep and threatening. Some are literally life threatening, while most are threatening death to our souls, not our bodies. David's valley was cavernous, had taken life as he had known it, and now was literally threatening his existence on planet Earth. He was in over his head, his end seemed imminent and there appeared no way out. He had brought some of this on himself, while the rest was brought on by others' sins. Regardless of the origin of our valley, we will experience them. They will come.

What becomes critical then is how we respond to the valley. It would appear we have two choices. We can, in our own wisdom see the valley as a problem, and in our own strength attempt to control the valley and get it into our rear view mirror as quickly as possible, or we can see the valley as an opportunity to allow our Shepherd to draw us into more intimacy with Him, and rest in Him, while we trust Him, in His wisdom and strength, to lead us out of the valley, after He has accomplished His will in our lives in the valley.

David's choice was clear, 'I will fear no evil, for You are with me.' David was choosing to trust his Shepherd for his very life. I'm sure David had thoughts of fear and how to get out of his valley, but his Shepherd here has reminded David of Who He is (I AM) and who David is, (you aren't) my chosen son and king and David is able to rest in His care and commitment.

Fast forward to John's gospel, chapter 10, verse 10. I wonder if Jesus was recalling this Psalm as He said the following about valleys- "The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy." Isn't that what we fear in our valleys? That we will have taken what we feel is valuable to us, it will feel like death, and in the process we will be destroyed. BUT! Jesus goes on and says, "I came that you may have life and have it abundantly. I AM the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep." This abundant, full life He has given His sheep came at His expense and He will spare nothing to do what is best for you. This life He has given us CANNOT be stolen, killed or destroyed. The threat of that is always only a shadow. Now that is what I call good news.

The next time you find yourself in a valley, remember Who your Shepherd is and His commitment to you and that the valley does not define you, nor does it determine your destiny- your Shepherd does. Therefore, like David, let us fear no valley, for I AM is with us.




If you want to know what someone really thinks, just listen to what they say after the word ‘but’ …so it is here with…”but God!”“

Note: “but God” is a weekly ministry of Robinson Outdoors Products written for us by pastor and spiritual counselor, Thomas Paige. “But God” is posted each week on the ScentBlocker website and can be found there along with the archives of messages of past years and months from Thomas. “But God” is also posted each week on ScentBlocker Facebook page and on Twitter.

You may ask, “why would Robinson, an outdoor products company with brands ScentBlocker and Tree Spider, making products for hunters, spend its time on something like “but God”?” Great question, as we here at Robinson consider our work place our mission field, our products bearing the John 3:16 inscription our outreach. In every new ScentBlocker jacket there is a laminated waterproof pocket insert that contains the salvation message printed in two languages. And, we ask the Lord to provide more opportunities for us to be a light unto a dark world.

What responses do we receive from our customers? Each week thousands and thousands of people read the “but God” message online. We receive dozens and dozens of appreciative emails, rejoicing that a company has the courage to stand up for what it believes despite perhaps it not being the most popular thing to do these days. God has blessed our lives and our business!

I hope you will enjoy this weeks’ “…but God” as Thomas continues the series, unto the Lord!

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