The destination of my journey of life brings hope! - 28 September 2018

Ewald Schmidt

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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.  Psalm 23:4-6 (NIV)

We began this month’s journey with Psalm 23, with the metaphor that the Lord is our shepherd, he leads us on the right paths to the honour of his name. Our life in the footsteps of our shepherd becomes a pilgrimage. Sometimes this journey will go through the darkest valleys, places where we experience danger and challenges. Death would be the ultimate, the darkest valley we ever have to walk through. But in all these dark times on our journey of life we do not have to fear evil, for God is guiding us, protecting us with his rod, gathering us closer to him with his staff. We find comfort in God’s presence on our journey through life.

Every pilgrimage has a final destination. In Psalm 23:5 the description of our pilgrimage changes. In this life we are like sheep, protected and led by our shepherd. But when we go through the final, darkest valley, we arrive at the Father’s house. There we are no longer sheep, we are guests of honour at the feast prepared for us.

This song comes from a nomadic tribal background. People trekking with their cattle to sparse grass and water, living in poverty, appreciate this analogy. For them a feast at a rich man’s house would be the ultimate experience of happiness, of being content. Every need is provided for, there is nothing to worry about. David says: thus the Lord leads his flock, till we reach the Father’s house, where we will dwell for ever more.

While we are still on our way, there are two travel companions we can look out for. God’s goodness and his love will be with us all the way. Today might tell the story of dark valleys in my life, but close to me I will find God’s goodness and love, guiding me through these times. Today might be tough, but it will not be the end. For I have not arrived at my Father’s house yet. The future is filled with hope, for the Lord leads me there.

In our path of life we will encounter enemies. It might be circumstances beyond our control: it might be people with ill intentions or natural disasters. Anything that tries to lead us away from God’s destiny is an enemy. But the enemies will gaze upon our victory with great disappointment. All evil plans will fail against God’s children. Our future is secure where he leads us. Let us then follow in his footsteps with joy and with gratitude. Our destiny fills us with hope.

Prayer: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Thank you Lord, that your goodness and love will be my travel companions every step of the way. Thank you that my future is secure in your hands, and that nobody can steal that from me. Lord, please bless me with your goodness and love today, that my life may be a blessing to others. Amen.

Go to top