Can you imagine a land with no rainy days?  Every day is a sunny, cloudless sky.  You never have to carry an umbrella.  You know what you’d get?  A desert.  For lush, green land, rain is required.  You cannot have the beauty without the storm.

Psalm 23:4 says, “Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; Your rod and Your staff – they comfort me.”

We all experience the darkest valleys in life.  Let me share with you five thruths about valleys and three applications on navigating threw them.

  1. Dark valleys are unavoidable.  You cannot escape them.  They are coming.
  2. Dark valleys are unpredictable.  And they always seem to  come at the worst possible time.
  3. Dark valleys are impartial.  Valleys do not know whether you are a good person or bad.  They come to all people.
  4. Dark valleys are temporary.  Fortunately, troubles do pass.  They are not permanent.
  5. Dark valleys have a purpose.  God does not lead you through valleys for no reason.  Your faith is built while navigating dark times.

So how do you navigate the dark times in life.  Perhaps you are grieving.  Perhaps you are struggling financially.  Perhaps your relationships have suffered.  Or maybe there is another trial the Lord has led to through.  Here are three things to remember from Psalm 23 on facing dark valleys.

  1. Refuse to be discouraged.  It’s important to realize that God doesn’t panic when we go through valleys.  He is in total control.  Our faith in Him allows us to consciously say, “I fear no danger.”
  2. Rely on God’s presence.  “For you are with me.” When going through a valley, it is easy to feel alone or abandoned.  Often the valley is made deeper because people you are close to feel distant.  Remember that God does not leave you and is guiding you through to the other side.
  3. Rely on God’s protection.  “Your rod and Your staff – they comfort me.”  The shepherd’s rod was used to ward off predators.  The staff was used to rescue sheep from danger.  God’s protection is strongest in the valley.

God’s presence and protection give us confidence to continue through the valley. It is helpful when we face the shadows of the valley that shadows are only visible when there is a source of light.  The darkness of our valleys is a reminder that God is in control.  Trust that He is guiding you through.