Have you ever walked in the deep woods on a night with no moon?
I have. I had one of those plastic flashlights that took two C-cell batteries and emitted only enough light for the path directly in front of me.
I was doing fine until that hoot owl started talking. It sounded like he was right beside me and it took everything in me not to scream bloody murder and run toward safety with all my might.
There are times we walk through emotional and spiritual dark valleys, too. Times when the only way out is an arduous climb in the deepest darkness. Times when we can’t even glimpse the first handhold or pathway.
Times when we feel completely and utterly alone.
I’ve been there a few times, feeling there was no hope. Longing for death.
King David had been there, too. He knew about dark valleys when he wrote this prayer we call Psalm 23.
Here’s a truth that we often forget:
Our feelings lie to us.
That old hoot owl wasn’t right behind me and he wasn’t looking for me. He wanted a tasty snack and I didn’t fit that bill for him.
When I thought no one cared if I lived or died, I was wrong. My feelings were lying their butts off.
I’m learning to rely on facts over feelings. When God says something, that’s fact even when I can’t see it.
So, if the Creator says He will never leave me or forsake me, that’s a done deal. Fact. My feelings don’t change that.
Here, He has David write that in the deepest darkest place, God was with him, guiding and protecting. Done deal. Fact.
God is with us in the ugliest darkness that comes along. He’s protecting us like a shepherd protects his sheep.
When we know facts, we rely on those. Maybe it’s time to stop fearing the dark and start walking through it with head held high, trusting the fact that God Almighty is right beside us.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.