As I sit in the valley of the shadow of death I shall have a lot of fear because I will not find you there”
I was on my way to work in the morning between 6:00 and 6:30. Walking up Long street on a Saturday and Sunday morning I had unsettling encounters on this famous Street. Its not uncommon for me to hear the odd “hello baby”, “Hi sana” ” hey babes”, “Yho awusemhle baby”(you look so pretty) etc. on a daily basis, it is more than a little annoying and I have had a few scuffles on the street with the odd stranger on days when I was feeling particularly feministic or thought I had morphed into super woman. But coming against such encounters on Saturday and Sunday dark winter mornings is a bit different.
The men are drunk and drugged, and at that hour of the weekend and they also take it upon their colourful state of mind to assume, I have to be a prostitute to be up that early. When I hear these unwelcome greetings, I try particularly hard to ignore them. A cab driver will hoot to get my attention, pull down his window slowly as part of his seduction routine I suppose. I curb the urge to pick up that brick I see through the corner of my eye and throw it at him, hopefully between his eyes (yes these are the real thoughts that go through my head, so I choose to be that honest about them). Instead I keep walking. When the CCIDworkers help the accosters instead of protecting me from them I keep walking. Even when this one male followed me through an entire Brooke Fraser song and touched my elbow, I chose not to flinch or say anything to him, I just kept walking. People who know me well, would know, that really, this took more than a little effort, but I think common sense was much louder than my super woman complex that day.
I should also tell you that the entire time I was going through that street, faced with these unwelcome encounters, I was reciting Psalm 23v4. As I was doing that, in my heart I felt as though Jesus settled something inside me. I realised truly truly that the scripture says even though I walk THROUGH. I really was walking THROUGH, my focus was on reaching my destination more than what was attempting to distract me off my course.
I have been going through a tough time, emotionally wise, career wise, ministry direction wise and financially… ahem.. wise :p. Being in that situation on Longstreet, I understood that, I am walking through the valley, there are things in the valley that are not attractive, that are scary, that are sad, that are disgusting! But there is nothing that can touch me in there. Jesus is with me, so nothing has any power to hurt me, I am his and his alone. He has his seal of protection, of love around me. All of a sudden I had this picture of Jesus with his arm around me, walking beside me, saying to me, flick it off, there’s nothing it can do, I am with you, walking you THROUGH.
So, take heart if you’re in the valley, because in this world you will have trouble, but don’t you ever forget, He walks with you in the valley and everything that tries to distract you, has already been overcome. John:16:33 and Psalm 23:4
It is a realisation which encourages me in this tough season I’m in 🙂
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil, for you are with me”.
Take rest in that