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. Psalm 23:4
After porn, I can no longer read this piece of Psalm 23 the same way as I used to. Growing up, this verse made me imagine a dark valley, with creepy trees, snakes, and other scary images. Now… my mind goes to the websites, the emptiness I feel, and the broken relationships caused by the websites and the emptiness. I know the valley. I loathe the valley. But the second part of this text is the part I forget about.
I will fear no evil, for you are with me
I’m constantly afraid. Afraid that I’ll stumble again. Afraid that someone could find out. Afraid that I’m useless to God because of my sin. And Afraid that it may never stop, that this sick temptation may never go away. But maybe, just maybe, God’s got me. Why should I be afraid when the Creator of the heavens, the Being who knit me together in my mother’s womb has me in his hands. I often pray that God will continue to mold me into the man that He is calling me to be, but its up to me to be soft, moldable clay. I have the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of all things that are good and holy with me, every step of the way. Whom shall I fear but the Lord?
your rod and your staff, they comfort me
Wherever I go, whatever I do, The Lord is with me. He has seen me in the depths of despair. He has seen me at the height of joy. The Lord has set things in motion to protect me. Like the great Father that He is, the Lord of Heaven and Earth will never abandon me and seeks out my heart, instead of merely judging my actions. My Father in heaven has sat there with me and held me as I have cried silent tears of pain and agony over the thought of my immense baggage. My Father comforts me in the darkest places of my heart and seeks to purify my heart of the things that darken it.
So today I find myself in the valley of the shadow of death, and if you’re reading this, you likely do as well. But today, I fear no evil, for my Father is with me.
Written from the midst of the struggle.