Many ACoNs* feel abandoned. They were raised by parents who were consumed with their own needs, so they find it hard to trust anyone–let alone their Father in heaven. But no matter what has happened in your life, the gentle Shepherd cares and will make a path through the wilderness for you.
Some people think this verse refers to being seriously ill and while health trials can seem like a very dark shadow at times, the Shepherd longs to brings comfort and healing into all of our darkness.
When people are depressed they often speak of a dark valley. At such times the Shepherd guides us through our despair and offers the light of hope to bring us out of such darkness. Often those who walk and breathe are spiritually dying inside while they are barely aware of their condition. This is when the Shepherd gently wakes them up.
Sometimes when we’ve been focusing on ourselves for too long we discover we have gone to a very dark place–much darker than we ever intended to go. It’s at times like these the Shepherd calls us by name. He will keep calling until we hear Him and reach for His help.
The gentle Shepherd passes no judgment. He simply offers a lifeline. He holds up the lantern of truth to guide us up through the brambles, out of the ravine and over the pass to bring us safely home. Throughout all of our valleys, the Shepherd offers comfort.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
*ACoNs–Adult Children of Narcissists
As a long time Newsboys fan, I just have to add Peter Furler’s Psalm 23. Enjoy!