PRACTICING COURAGE IN THE WILDERNESS

Based on Living Compass “Practicing Courage with all your heart, soul, strength and mind”


“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:4

As a minister, it is a great honour when people share their stories with me. Often, they talk about their fear and their worries. Some have confessed that they struggle with worry so much that it has strangled their happiness and joy.

The author of Psalm 23 also knows about worry and fear. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” What is comforting to us is that the author is not consumed by fear and worry, but instead focuses on the comfort that God’s presence offers. The confidence in God’s comfort, so beautifully described in this psalm, is why it is so often read at funerals, and why so many of us seek solace in it when we are walking through a valley of loss and grief.

The root meaning of the word worry means to strangle. That seems appropriate given how worry can constrict our spiritual and emotional well-being. And while it is probably impossible to choose never to worry, we do have the choice to become aware when our worry is excessive, and to make choices that will help us to let go of perhaps not all of it, but most of it. It is about trusting God and making a choice, some version of “letting go and letting God.”

“Let go and let God,” may seem like an overused cliché, but do you find comfort or wisdom in these words? Does Psalm 23 provide comfort for you in times of worry? Is there a particular line from the psalm that you like?  Have you ever felt that worry was constricting your emotional and/or spiritual well-being?