Walking Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death
There will be a time for everyone on earth to walk through the
Valley of the Shadow of Death. Ps 23:4. Job knew the Valley of the
Shadow of Death well. Job 10:22. For those who know Jesus Christ as
their Savior it will end in the arms of Jesus in Heaven or they will
come out of the valley before they reach Heaven so they can finish
what God has for them to do on earth. Either way you will never be
the same person you were before entering the Valley of the Shadow of
The first time I went through the Valley of the Shadow of
Death I was a young woman of thirty-two years old. During a long fast
I had a dream. In the dream I saw myself walking up a hill
approaching another road on the right. The street name on the right
was Gaza Street. I knew that Gaza was a desert place. I looked down
the hilly street, it had dark shadows and it was scary. I said to the
Lord in my dream, “I really don’t want to go down this road.” A long
way down the street I saw the Lord standing beaconing me to come. I
said, “Yes, Lord.” When I woke up from that dream I knew that I was
going to go through something that would be very unpleasant for me,
but Jesus would be waiting for me at the end.
In a short time I went from being an active, young, women with four
young children to a bedridden woman who could not take care of daily
chores. The attacks that came on my mind were unmerciful.
Constantly the thoughts came at me, especially during the night.
“You are going to die!” At first when the blows came I cried because
of the thoughts of leaving my husband and young children.
One of the hardest things to deal with was to know if this was the
time the Lord wanted to take me home or if this was an attack from
Satan. I did not want to go against the Lord’s time for me so I kept
praying for Him to show me His perfect will. I wrestled with that
question for months.
Many people were praying for me and one woman in our church suggested
that I see a doctor that had helped her regain her health years
before. I made an appointment with that doctor. After the tests
came in I was given the diagnosis of a blockage in two parts of my
heart and I was by that time completely jaundiced – yes, yellow as a
pumpkin! My liver was having severe problems functioning. The tests
from U.C. Davis that came in on me said that I had the body of an 82
year-old woman on the inside. I was told if I didn’t either have an
operation or completely change my life style I had six months until I
would have a major heart attack. I was already having small strokes.
My doctor was doing research with a project at U.C. Davis at that time
in corporation with doctors in Russia who had great success in
reversing conditions like mine. I chose that path because I felt the
Lord leading me in that direction through peace that came over me. Lu
1:79. My doctor told me it would be a life walk that would require me
to remain on for the rest of my life.
During that time the thoughts grew stronger and harder everyday
against my health. Like a seed planted, a thought within begin to
grow that God wanted me to live, that this sickness was “not unto
death”. Ps 118:18; Isa 9:2. During one of the darkest moments of
being attacked in my mind, I picked up the great Sword of the Spirit
and began welding it at the thoughts and the enemy of my soul.
My normal Christian life included daily Bible study, but I never had
to use Scripture to fight. I knew that it was called the Sword of the
Spirit, but I had never had to use it that way. In Scripture I saw
that Jesus gave us that pattern when he was tempted by Satan in the
wilderness. Three times He said, “It is written.” The enemy didn’t
quit the first time even with Jesus, but three times He used Scripture
on him. Mt 4:4, 6,7,10.
I began to commit to memory large portions of Scripture and would
speak them during my breakfast, lunch and dinner times. Joh 6:51; Joh
1:14. In the mornings I lifted my hands in praise to Jesus, declaring
His Word that is alive. In the afternoon I praised the Lord and
declared his Words of life. In the evening I thanked Him for every
part of the day and declared that I would tell of His words. During
the night I would use those Scriptures when attacked. One favorite
was, “I shall not die, but live and tell of the works of the Lord.”
The attacks didn’t slow for months, but my condition slowly changed.
As I lay on that sick bed I began to see myself running a race and
breaking the wire in victory. In six months I was able to get up and
walk without help. In a year I was out walking four miles a day. My
normal skin color returned my slurred speech left and my short term
When the two year mark of my journey came I was able to do everything
I did before. When I hit the three-year mark of my journey I asked my
doctor if I could start running. What a joy it was to be able to run
the mountains. I even was able to pace a friend in the Western States
100 mile endurance race. My feet have carried me places where I never
thought I could go. Phil 4:13.
Through the years I have walked through the Valley of Shadow of Death
several times and come through for my mission on earth is not
complete. Our daughter Grace is walking through this valley and now
our son, Nathan, is walking through it. He was diagnosed with Lou
Gehrig’s disease a few weeks ago. It has been a hard few weeks for
our whole family, but as we have sought the Lord, again Jesus has
brought to mind the path through the Valley of Shadow of Death. Grace
and Nathan are on the path and where it will end only Jesus knows.
.All people on earth find themselves at one time or another going
through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. For Christians there is
but one path through this valley. Keep your eyes on Jesus at the
end of the valley and use the Sword of the Spirit on the attacks that
come your way. Php 4:7. Take in Scriptures as you would your daily
meals. Praise Him through it all.
If you are walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death it may be
only shadows and you will come out to finish your mission. If you
don’t you will have finished your mission on earth and you will be in
the arms of Jesus in Heaven. Either way we win!