Our pastor has been doing a series on Psalm 23 – taking one verse at a time. Today she spoke on one verse that has been such a blessing to me throughout the past almost 20 years. It is the verse that says:
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou are with me.
That is the verse that came to my mind the day of my first visit to the oncologist following surgery for breast cancer. His first words to me were “The odds are not in your favor.” Immediately the above verse came to my mind.
I did not know if the Lord was assuring me I would walk through this valley to health and life on the other side or if I would walk through this valley into death.
What was comforting to me was the assurance that He was going to be with me through this time.
Looking back on my life as I near the last years of life I am so thankful to see all the times He has been there for me.
What comfort I find in knowing He will continue to walk with me through the rest of my life – both on the mountain times and the deep valley experiences life may bring.
At this point in my life I would say I’m mostly experiencing those “mountain” times. Last week my husband and I celebrated 37 years of marriage. What a blessing it is to be able to say that he is my bff and our love for one another is deeper and stronger than the day we married. We are blessed with good health for our age and we have a beautiful home to enjoy.
Yet I have been facing some “valley” moments these last few weeks. When I had surgery for cancer the surgeon apologized and said that he had done quite a bit of nerve damage as the lymph nodes were full of cancerous cells and he wanted to make sure he removed all the cancer. That plus the extensive radiation I had has left me with pain ever since. The damage done to my side has, with age, also led to a damaged rotator cuff. Surgeons now do not want to do surgery to repair the cuff because there has been so much nerve damage already done.
For whatever reason – old age I guess – the chronic pain that I have learned to live with has recently become much worse. It is especially difficult when I try to lay down and I have come to dread bedtime.
This morning my church family gathered around me and prayed for me. What an encouragement that was. One young man put some legs on his prayers and offered to come help me with my housework, even to vacuum my floors. My husband is able to help me and I refuse to just sit and give in – got to keep moving. But it was so kind of him to offer. That’s what real love is all about.
How blessed I am – how good to know not only that God is with me – but He has given me friends to love and support me.
Whatever situation dear reader you may be in – let me encourage you to lean on God. He is our Good Shepherd and His promises to be with us in “all” seasons I have found to be true.