Pause

Stop. Breathe.

Find stillness, right here.

Take comfort.

The Shepherd is waiting to lead you into rest, now.

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Listen

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your rod and your staff— they protect me.

Psalm 23:4

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Think

It would be nice to think that believing in God and following God’s paths would keep us out of danger, safe from evil, basking in permanent sunlight. Not only is this not how the world works, it is not how God’s way works.

For every bright green pasture, there is a dark fearful valley.

For every victory, there is failure. For every loving friend, there is a hateful enemy. For every celebration, there is mourning. For every light, there is darkness.

God doesn’t lead us into darkness as a punishment or a test. Darkness simply exists in the world, and the Shepherd is faithful to stay with us and guide us through it. Believing will not keep us out of the darkness, and following is not a shortcut to avoiding it, but we will not stumble through it alone. We can take comfort in the Shepherd’s careful watch over us, even when we can’t see the way forward.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

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Pray

I’m following you today, God, even into places that feel dark. I may be afraid, but I trust you to be with me. Guide me. Comfort me. Amen.

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Go

Ready? Stand up.

Gather yourself, take courage, reach out, walk on.

The Shepherd is leading, and the world is waiting!

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair is an ordained Baptist minister, mother of two boys, and a US Navy spouse. She and her family recently relocated to Virginia, where she writes about the moving life and thinks about sheepish things while she knits and weaves.

Making Space: He Leadeth Me

Carter Harrell

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