“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” – Psalms 23:4 KJV

I can still hear it in Billy Graham’s voice.

“Even if I walk through a very dark valley, I will not be afraid, because you are with me. Your rod and your shepherd’s staff comfort me.” – Psalms 23:4 NCV

I have my own weaknesses and as I was reading before bed tonight, you came to mind.

Please stay for just a moment.

“But you have a few there in Sardis who have kept their clothes unstained, so they will walk with me and will wear white clothes, because they are worthy. Those who win the victory will be dressed in white clothes like them. And I will not erase their names from the book of life, but I will say they belong to me before my Father and before his angels.” – Revelation 3:4-5

I am very aware of the valley through which I could have walked. It could have been significantly more dark a valley than it turned out to be.

I slumped to the floor of, still, the darkest one ever and as I thought it might be the end of the world, it became the deepest, most real beginning of the most intimate moments I have ever experienced.

It was as if the Holy Spirit reached His hands through the wall behind me, enveloped me, and whispered,

“Les, she left me, too, but I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

You see, in one night, December 29th, 1993, at near 5:30pm, I lost my wife and my children and most of everything in my home. What meager items remained were the shattered remains of a coffee table, the bare frame of the children’s bunk bed, and my own frame and mattress.

Do you see how it might have been the darkest valley through which I’d walked?

Still, the absolutely raw reality of God feeling, “she left me, too.” somehow made me so much more aware of God’s uniquely personal love and loss of each of us.

My daughter, Lee Anne, shared with me this quote some years back from “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexander Dumas.

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness.”

Please, surrender your valley, your deepest grief, to the Lord.

If you do, one day, you will experience supreme happiness.

I can prove it.

Please, do not give up.

It is only a valley, maybe a dark one, but still, only a valley.

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