By Karen Kogler
Editor’s note: CTA author Karen Kogler has been caring for her elderly mother-in-law for the past seven years. Through the challenges and joys, Karen is constantly leaning on God. Her caregiving role inspired her to write a series of devotions based on Psalm 23. You can find the complete series of devotions here.
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 (Psalm 23:4 ESV).
The “valley of the shadow of death” is easily ignored by the young and healthy. But for the frail, elderly, and seriously ill, it’s a familiar place. Whether a longed-for release or a terrifying presence, the valley is frequently on the mind.
Jesus knew death, too. He knew his short three years of public ministry would end in a shameful, painful and public death. But he knew it as his Father’s will for him, and he faced it resolutely. And on Easter Sunday, he triumphantly left the tomb declaring victory over death. His victory is our victory! Death no longer has the last word for us - Jesus does!
Knowing our upcoming victory, we can accept his timetable. Whether our remaining time on earth is measured in days or decades, we can continue to serve him, even when our frailty limits us simply to prayer. We don’t fear death, or obsessively long for it. But we look forward to that day when Jesus walks us through death’s door into those beautiful green pastures with the quiet waters, where we will be with him forever.
Dear Jesus, thank you for walking with me through this dark and lonely valley. Help me to know, without a doubt, that you are leading, guiding, and comforting me. Hold me close until that day when the valley’s shadows give way to the brightness and joy of my home in heaven. Amen.
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