God's Presence in the Shadows

God's Presence in the Shadows

It’s hard to hear the daily statistics of infection rates and deaths. We are apt to forget that statistics describe real people, real families, facing the shadows of pain and death. The Bible never glosses over hard things. In the well-loved Psalm 23, we hear again that God is always with us, whatever our circumstances.

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Psalm 23
Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


[a] Or the valley of the shadow of death

Resources in this Series
  1. Walk On: Life, Loss, Trust, and Other Realities, John Goldingay. Written by an Old Testament seminary professor, this is a personal account of how he walks through his wife’s severe disability with the truth of the Old Testament. It is a testimony to hope in the midst of suffering.
  2. Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope, Joan D. Chittister. The author, using the story of Jacob wrestling with God, alternates chapters between struggle and hope. This can be read as a devotional.
  3. Lament for a Son, Nicholas Walterstorff. A very moving reflection on the loss of his 25-year-old son in a climbing accident.
  4. Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Timothy Keller. Deals very thoughtfully with the questions that are common to all who suffer. It includes good life-story illustrations.
  5. A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss, Gerald Sittser. The author lost his mother, wife, and daughter in a single car accident. A very thoughtful reflection on grief.
  6. www.grief.com, very helpful and comprehensive website, has great resources, including things to say and not say to a grieving person. (Not from a faith perspective.)
  7. GriefShare, a Christian support group we offer at PLCC.