Some things are tolerable because they’re temporary – they will soon be over – so you endure with that in mind. But if you know it’s never going to end, or you have no assurance of it ending, well then that’s another story.
One of the phrases in the 23rd Psalm that is particularly encouraging to those going through hard times is “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.”
Now many commentators try to add their encouragement by saying, “Did you notice – it says through the valley. That means you are going to make it through. The valley holds no harm for you.” One author put it this way: “It should be noticed that the verse states ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death!’ It does not say I die there – but rather, ‘I walk through!’”
Well, the Hebrew preposition used here actually means “in, or within, or among.” It really does not mean “through.” So the verse literally says, “Yea, though I walk (in or within) the valley of the shadow of death…”
The idea is that you are truly in the valley facing some difficult circumstance, like actually dying. The point here is that God is not promising to deliver us from all of the troubles of life.
There are some things that come upon us that just never go away – a terminal illness, a physical handicap, the loss of a loved one, the time of our own death – all of these things are just part of living in a lost world. You see, the encouraging things is NOT that you will necessarily make it through the valley; but, on the other hand, whatever you face in the valley, He’s there to strengthen and comfort and help you. “I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.”
Say – are you dealing with some burden that just won’t go away? Just remember – your Shepherd is there with you, so don’t be afraid.