At most Christian funerals, the peace-filled words of Psalm 23 are spoken: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (verse 1 ESV). Jesus loves you, provides for you, and is there for you. Such comfort! Such peace!
Then verse 4 hits: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (ESV). If you’ve been to a funeral, you’ve likely felt these words thud in your heart. One cold, harsh word jumps out. Death. How could it not?
But death wasn’t the focus for God or King David as these words were written. We make it the focus with our sadness, but it’s not. God calls death a “shadow.” That’s all it is! A shadow can’t hurt you. It has no substance. A shadow can only scare you if you let it, but it can’t hurt you!
That’s why God proclaims in 1 Corinthians 15:55, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Death is a shadow for a believer. It can’t hurt you eternally in Jesus.
The pain you’re feeling from the loss of a loved one is real. And it’s difficult. And it hurts. But there’s an end; there’s peace in Jesus as you walk with him through that valley of sadness knowing and remembering our loved ones who die in faith live! They live! They live forever already with the Lord.
May that truth give you peace as you walk with your Good Shepherd, Jesus!