Above the Shadow

By: Suzi Toadvine

To some of us, valleys are areas of lush, green growth and abundant flowers and beautiful streams that are shielded from the scorching rays of the sun.  But to me, the valley has an entirely different meaning.  It was a dark place.  A place where the sun rarely broke through, and when it did, it never lasted.

In February of 2014, I lost one of the most precious gifts that God has ever given me, my son, Devin.  While Devin was fighting cancer, my faith was at an all-time high; and I was just SURE that the healing would come.  When it did not, not only was my heart broken, but my faith was seriously wounded.  I was not mad at God, I just wasn’t sure if He would do it for me anymore.  Even though I felt His closeness and His comfort, my faith was just not there.  I still believed God for others, I just didn’t have faith for myself.

For five long years I battled complete heartbreak.  I had many days of tears that no one knew about.  Try as I might, even through fasting and prayer, I felt I just would never break free.  I had several discussions with my daughter, my husband and a couple of friends about the depth of God’s love and caring.  I KNEW in my mind that it was true, but my heart and my faith just couldn’t grasp it for me.

All last week I practiced a new song for the choir called “Psalm 23, I Am Not Alone.”  The words kept going through my mind, but it never really struck me until I was introducing the choir song on Sunday night.  I began to talk about Psalm 23 and walking through the valley of the shadow.  I talked about God going before me and just as I said that, I felt the voice of God speak to my heart and say “I brought you THROUGH it!”  My voice broke and I felt the tears but could not even put it into words.  I didn’t even truly realize the depth of it until the next morning when I got up to do my devotionals and my heart was light.  My spirit was totally renewed and I felt joy!  I could literally see myself looking down on a dark valley, and I was ABOVE it!  I WAS ABOVE THE SHADOW!  I felt like God was letting me know that I was no longer in that valley.  I was no longer living under that dark cloud.  He was restoring my soul . . . just like another part of Psalm 23 states.  I had missed that part.  I had lived in the valley of the shadow for so long, that I had not noticed, that the Psalmist spoke of the restorer earlier in the verse.  He was letting us know that even before you get to the valley of the shadow, just remember that He will restore your soul!

Are you living in the shadows?  Is there a cloud seeming to cover your vision?  Trust God today to lead you through that valley.  He can bring you to the sunshine once again.






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