One of the understandings I have received lately, I believe, from Holy Spirit, is about the valley of the shadow of death.
Many Christians think the term ‘shadow’ is a negative because of the verse, “Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God. He is the One Who made all light. He does not change. No shadow is made by His turning.” James 1:17
However, we must also consider verses such as, “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 36:7, or Hebrews 8:5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
What about Acts 5:15? “so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.” There are several Hebrew/Greek words translated ‘shadow’.
The understanding I have received is about Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” It has been a little over a year since my husband died. As a Christian I know that mourning lasts for a night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
I still miss my husband, but I no longer grieve as I did in the early days. But here’s the thing. . . the shadow of his death is still with me. Just because I no longer grieve as others would (1 Thessalonians 4:13), doesn’t mean I am not still affected. This is the valley of the shadow of death. David lost a child. I have never experienced this, but I watched my mother do so and I can’t say the experience ever totally left her soul.
Many preachers have taught Psalms 23 and declared that we are not supposed to stay in the valley and we come out stronger. I understand the shadow is with us our whole lives. Now before any charismatics start throwing stones, think about the death of Jesus. Doesn’t that shadow still change people? Isn’t the truth of that substitutionary death still leading people to salvation? Yes!
The world didn’t escape that valley of the shadow of Jesus’ passing. That shadow still shows people the way of escape from sin which pays the wage of death. A shadow is the representation of what is coming. The shadow of Jesus’s death, when followed, leads to the cross and the cross leads to the grave and the grave is empty because God has resurrected Jesus. Glory to God!
I still walk in the valley of the shadow of my husband’s death forever changed by the experience. However, it is the death of my Lord and His resurrection which forever brought the Light of the World into my life.