Inevitably, all of us will walk through dark times. The nature of those dark times, whether it be overcoming cancer as my older brother did in six successive bouts or recovering from the devastating loss of a love relationship as my friend did after four years of joy or confronting the lack of a palpable sense of God’s presence year after year while faithfully preaching and teaching is less the psalmist’s concern than finding out he is not alone in the universe. For most of us the modern question is not, “Does God exist?” but “Does God exist for me!”
The psalmist chooses to believe that the Divine Presence is here and now. And he also knows that he will more readily experience that presence if he dwells “in the house of the Lord” or chooses to live in faithful community, to put the phrase into the vernacular.
In “rugged individualistic” Western culture, we often find that it goes against our grain to reach out for companionship and divine presence when life is dragging us down. But the psalmist says he is going to do that even when he is surrounded by enemies or misfortune or calamity or hopelessness. We too can hope for comfort, no matter what darkness swirls around us; the promise is here to lift our hearts and souls: 
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me” (ceb).

Jesus, I need courage to face the darkness that rolls through all of life. Amen.


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