He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces. — Isaiah 25:8
In Psalm 23, David spoke of walking through the valley of the shadow of death. That valley was not his final destination. David knew that we enter this valley from time to time as we journey through life, but we don’t stay there. When we lose a loved one, our Good Shepherd walks us through those days of darkness and grief, and He brings us out the other side. Isaiah says He will “swallow up death forever.”
When it is our own death, our Good Shepherd walks us through the valley to the glories of heaven, a resurrected body, and a place free of crying and pain.
Consider a caterpillar’s transformation. It was buried in a shroud called a cocoon. By and by, the grave burst open, and from it emerged a magnificent creature so different from its former self, a creature gifted now with delicate butterfly wings of freedom.
We understand the caterpillar/cocoon metamorphosis. Do we know as much about our own destinies?
Code Word: Through
You do not walk “in” the valley… you walk “through” the valley. You don’t stay there. If there were no valleys, there would be no mountaintops.
Lord, I hold to Your promise that You are with me always. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. — Isaiah 53:4
Think about where you are — and where you have been — on your life journey. Maybe you’ve been tempted to give up — or maybe you’re tempted right now. Maybe you are in a Gethsemane of your own, struggling to surrender your will to God’s will. Your Savior has been there too. Let Jesus help you come to the point where you are able to relinquish your will to God’s plan, just as Jesus Himself did.
And Jesus’ bowing to the Father’s plan meant being temporarily forsaken by His heavenly Father — after already being forsaken by family and friends — but only so we might never be forsaken. “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4).
What a Savior!
Think, too, about the amazing truth that we never experience anything in this life that Jesus Himself — God in the flesh — did not experience before us and for us. Jesus knows what it is to be forsaken. Reach out to Him — your good and compassionate Shepherd — in prayer.
Code Word: Experience
There is nothing, not a single thing, you will face today that Jesus didn’t experience. Can you hear Him saying to you, “I understand… I have been there.”
Lord, thank You for going before me today… and always. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Excerpted with permission from The Believer’s Code by O. S. Hawkins, copyright O. S. Hawkins.
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Are you walking through the valley right now? Are you tempted to stop and give up? What a wonder it is to remember that Jesus knows and understands our pain… and that He has been through all manner of suffering. Through pain we are being transformed. Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily