It was 2:17 AM and my eyes are swollen from crying in my bunk on a tour bus, my spirit felt like crushed glass and I was emotionally exhausted. Perhaps IΓÇÖm the only one who’s ever felt that way, but I doubt it. Think back to a time in your life where you were hurt, disappointed, wronged, or disrespected. Did you ever wonder why God had allowed you to walk through such a time? Why he didn’t carry you through that hard time? What comfort is there for us in times of desperation?
When life is just hard, your friends abandon you, the idea doesnΓÇÖt work, and when the bad news comes and there is nothing left, there is someone left.
In an attempt to offer comfort to the weary, I often will hear people say donΓÇÖt worry, youΓÇÖre not alone. I wish we could complete the thought. Instead say, ΓÇ£DonΓÇÖt worry, youΓÇÖre not alone. God is fighting for you and will carry you through this.ΓÇ¥ Those added words paint the mental picture of Christ carrying me like a child in His arms. He shields us from the harsh wind and rain over rough and rocky terrain. Now that is something that brings my soul rest. You carry me.
In light of this vision, Psalm 23:4 takes on new meaning. When we read this passage we often overlook the significance of the terms rod and staff. One of my favorite commentators, David Guzik notes, ΓÇ£The rod is a shepherdΓÇÖs weapon of defense against potential predators.ΓÇ¥
God doesΓÇÖt just carry us through the valley, he fights off anything that comes against us to cause harm. You protect me.
Finally, when faced with difficult circumstances, we can find hope in this: God doesnΓÇÖt just let us go through the hard times, HeΓÇÖll grow us through the hard times. When we face the thing that hurts us, God grows our dependency on Him and allows us to exercise the strength that only he provides. If we truly believe that God is our shepherd, we must first accept the fact that we are sheep. We are lost, weak, confused and desperately in need of guidance. We can know that ΓÇ£the testing of [our] faith produces steadfastnessΓÇ¥ and that God is simply wanting to teach us and shelter us through the trial. You love me.
In conclusion, we step forward knowing that we have a friend holding our hand and a soldier fighting for us. Our Father will always comfort us.