‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me…’

This is a portion of Scripture that many of us are familiar with. Those who have been in the church since they were young may have had to memorize some or all of Psalm 23 at some point in their lives. But how many of us have really thought about the connotations of the valley, much less walking through it? We think of valleys as dark places, deep and mysterious, and sometimes even dangerous. But valleys are also very fertile places. A lot of things grow in valleys. Trees. Plants. Flowers. When you’re on top of the mountain, you can see for miles, but you can’t see details. The leaves on the trees. The birds that perch in the branches. The flowers that bloom, the petals that open. Time in the valley might be a time of difficulty, but it can also be a time of discovery; a time to find beauty in brokenness.

The other part of this verse that I find interesting is the choice of words. ‘I walk through.’ Not ‘I walk into’ or ‘I stay in’ or ‘I live in,’ but ‘I walk through.’ The valley isn’t a place for us to remain. We walk THROUGH the valley. It’s a temporary place, not a final destination. Just as time on the mountain isn’t forever, time in the valley will, sooner or later, come to an end. Next time you find yourself in a valley, remember, it’s only temporary. Take some time to look around, learn, discover, and, dare I say, enjoy your time there.