Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Shadow of Death

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgWith the most recent celebrity death – namely that of Robin Williams – I imagine people are thinking about depression – addictions – life – and death this week in ways they haven’t before. A funeral or memorial service will be held for him – again I imagine. I’ve done more than my share of funerals over the years. Some of these are for folks from the community and I have not had the time to minister to the deceased – but I have an opportunity to minister to their loved ones.  I often read the 23rd Psalm.

I love today’s portion of the 23rd Psalm.  One of the great hopes and blessings of our faith is that we do not have to fear death.  Death is – for the person of faith – a stepping stone into the presence of God – and eternity.

I can usually tell people of faith versus people with little or no faith when I serve at funerals.  The way we face death is telling. I am not saying that people of faith do not cry or mourn or grieve.  We all face the loss of a loved one differently.  My father’s death will be two years ago this September and I remember crying at his service and a number of times since. I wouldn’t say I am over it – whatever that looks like. But there is a hope – a peace – for those of faith – especially when the loved one was also a person of faith.  They realize that death is not the end – but rather a gateway – a doorway – into eternity.

Having God with us brings such peace.  At the end of a number of the Epistles we read some closings like this: 2 Timothy 4:22 – The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Or something like this in the midst of teachings about God’s presence in our lives: Romans 8:31b – If God is for us, who can be against us?

What hope we have in Jesus! Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.


August 13, 2014 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer | , , , ,

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