Multi-colored leaves float to the ground in the mountain valley that I call home. It is a beautiful valley during all seasons, but this fall it is filled with smoke from the fires in other areas, fires fueled by fallen leaves. David’s “valley of the shadow” must have been much like this one at this time when the smoke blocks the sun. A shadow is a place where the light source is blocked. In our world the light of God is blocked by the twisted evil of the enemy often leaving us troubled and struggling. As we trust the firefighters to extinguish the fires, we trust God who hears our prayers to send His angel armies to destroy the fires and the smoke in our lives. Stopping in the middle of the smoke-filled valley can lead to death from inhalation; yet many choose to wallow in a smoke-filled world where dangers waft from every direction. The way out of the haze demands keeping our eyes on the light just beyond it, the Light calling our attention, the One that offers hope and promise that there is a clearness waiting. Just as we know that the firefighters are working, we know that God has sent His angel armies in answer to our prayers for help with our woes. We must not stop or inhale deeply lest we begin to believe that in the smoke is life. It is “through” much darkness that we enter God’s kingdom, Luke says. The greater life of joy and deep breathing is beyond the cloud.
Psalm 23:4 Acts 14:22