The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23: 1–4
Psalm 23 is a much-loved psalm that has brought hope, comfort and assurance to millions over the centuries. It was written by David, the shepherd boy who became king of Israel. He compares the love and commitment that a shepherd has for his sheep with the love and commitment that God has for humanity. There is a line in the psalm that says, ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you (God) are with me’. As long as the shepherd was with his sheep, they would not fear. At times, a shepherd would need to lead his flock through a dark valley in order to get to a rich pasture. Since the shepherd was with his sheep, they would not panic because they knew he cared for them and would protect them. In the same way David says, our shepherd, God, will lead us through dark valleys and we can trust in his goodness and love. All of us will go through dark valleys at some time in our lives, for that is the reality of life. Relationships break down, we lose someone we love, we experience injustice, we feel rejection and become discouraged – the list is long that can cause us to feel we are walking through a dark valley.
Some within our Carey community are going through a difficult time at present. COVID-19 has brought profound change – some of it good, but definitely not all of it. Things that seemed so predictable and natural three months ago have been turned upside down. The future now looks less certain and with uncertainty comes anxiety and even fear. Faith in the goodness of God can help alleviate some of our anxieties – for our Good Shepherd will lead us through this time of pain and uncertainty. The valley may indeed be dark and even long, but when we know that our Shepherd is walking beside us, offering his love, guidance and comfort we will be strengthened and able to find peace in the midst of profound change.
May God’s peace be with all in our school community.
Senior School Chaplain