The Power of a Preposition
Many of us are familiar with 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.”
While this verse will be meaningful at the moment of death, it is intended to apply to any situation of deep sorrow or fear. The phrase “the shadow of death” is a Hebraism meaning “as dark as death itself.” Have you ever felt like you were in a valley that was “as dark as death itself”?
I have a friend who used to say that the most important word in that verse is a preposition – the word “through.” She would say, “The Lord doesn’t just lead us to the dark valley, and then tell us to cross it alone. He leads us through the dark valley.” Her point was that, no matter how long a season of sorrow may last, and no matter how difficult the journey may seem, with the Lord as our escort when we face suffering, we can be sure that we will come out on the other side. He doesn’t just take us to the dark valley. He brings us through the dark valley.