Even though I walk through the valley,”
There is a place in the Australian outback called the “Never Never” It’s a tough, barren place with stifling heat, scorpions, deadly snakes, and desolation. You’ve got to be very careful when you go to the Never Never. It’s not a place for the weak of heart.
The Psalmist tells us there is a similar place God’s people enter sometimes. It’s called the “Even Though.”
“Even though I walk through the valley,” we read in Psalm 23. The “even though” is a place of trial and difficulty:
Even though you’re in a psychiatric hospital.
Even though you’re struggling in your marriage.
Even though your finances aren’t working.
Even though you’re chronically ill.
Even though you are in a time of difficulty and desolation, God will set a table before you. In fact, the greatest table that we’ll ever feast at is set in that stark land of the even though.
When I first went into the even though, I didn’t look for a table, I looked for a way out. I didn’t realize there would be times in life where God would cause me to lay in weakness. A time when he taught me that even in the valley there can be a table.
If you are in the even though right now, look for a table. It comes in the strangest times and the strangest places. It comes in the way you run to Scripture and suddenly it nurtures you in ways it never did before. It comes in a song, or in the moment you realize each sunset is a gift from God. It comes when you realize that there is a table in the even though where your cup will overflow all the days of your life, even the next time you go to the even though.
I used to think the only way I could meet God was in strength, in the good land, in the happy times, when everybody was celebrating me. I have found that instead there is a table set before me in the land of the even though. While my enemies may be telling me that God doesn’t love me, this table is the proof that he loves me—and you—with an everlasting love. Even in the even though.
Learn More about Some Kind of Crazy by Terry Wardle.
“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”.
I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis.
Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full.
“ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”.
( 1 Corinthians 13:12).
My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been.
I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten.
I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis.
I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change.
I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life.
If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad.
One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather.
One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness.
All part of a story that has had many twists and turns.
I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs
"As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles"
And so it is true for me.
But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed.
The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins!
"" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns".
My hope is that as we all run
our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written.
And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you.
Further up and further in!
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