The Valley Of Death

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Psalm 23:4 – Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (NIV)

The call came at 9:07 am. It wasn't entirely unexpected. Perhaps what was unexpected was the grief that I felt when I learned that my great-aunt, Lila, now 102, was dying, and that the family would be gathering to sit by her side, to say that they loved her and to pay their respects as she crossed over to the other side. But I was miles away. In order to keep control of my thoughts, I decided to work on my novel. I worked for nearly two hours, totally focussed. Around eleven, music, coming from my radio, penetrated my thoughts. I listened. It was so familiar, yet its interwoven harmonies disguised its identity for a few brief moments. I started to hum the tune and finally the words came. "That's it! 'I Am Resting'!" I exclaimed, and went to look up the words in an old hymnbook.

"I am resting, sweetly resting on the rock once cleft for me; here my soul shall dwell securely, both for time and eternity." How fitting! Aunt Lila had lived on an island all her life, but now she no longer had to heed the raging tempest or the waves that wildly beat. She had found a sure foundation. She had found a rest complete.

Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, our wonderful God has promised to be with his children, to bring them comfort and assurance.

Prayer: Help us to rest in you during the difficult times. Thank you for being such a caring God, that you reach through the dark times to show us that you love us. Amen.

[The music in the background was the Mennonite Piano Concerto by Victor Davis, played by Boris Brott and the London Symphony on CBC Radio Two's Take Five, January 7, 2003.]

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Elaine Ingalls Hogg <>
Smiths Creek, New Brunswick, Canada

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