When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12 NIV)
You can walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and fear no evil because of whom you walk with. The Good Shepherd is close to those who broken are crushed in Spirit (Ps. 34:18). It is clear in God's Word and my own experience that the Lord personally walks us through our griefs, sorrows and sufferings. In the Christian life, the Bible indicates that at times He dispatches ministering spirits, otherwise known as angels, to the service of His people. He matches the sick with a healer like Dr. Luke. For those who are discouraged He gives a Barnabas kind of friend. To those who are hungry and lonely with a Martha, Mary and Lazarus, but when we walk into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, He comes. Describing the scary journey through the shadowed land of Psalm 23, David switches from the third person tense to the second person: "...for you are with me." When the Good Shepherd of your soul is with you, it is impossible to walk in darkness, even when you are walking in a dark place. Jesus promised that those who walk close to Him will "never" walk in darkness. You have the light of life.
An ancient rabbinical blessing highlights the role of a disciple as well as the power of the teacher. Most rabbis in the time of Jesus had young disciples who followed them. It was the Hebrew custom to walk very close to your rabbi or teacher so that you could learn of his ways in every area of life. The blessing was something like this: "May the dust of your rabbi be upon you!" In other words, may you walk so close to your teacher that his dust would be upon you at the end of the day.
How closely are you walking with your Rabbi? Our Lord leads us into some pretty scary places. He has no qualms about our fears and timidity; He pushes us to strengthen us. He himself will always go to the most desperate places, meeting the most desperate people. Today as you walk with your Rabbi, stay close and let His dust be upon you. Do not live for your comfort, live for Him. At the end of the day when the mealtime comes, He will take a basin and towel and wash his dust from your feet and remind you of how dangerous it is to walk this earth without him. In that moment, all your daily lessons and insights will make more sense, and you will breath a deep sigh as you realize that you've spent another day in the Valley of the Shadow of Death and that you feared no evil.
What a Savior!