Sometimes the recovery journey takes us through the valley of the shadow of death. It is a frightening valley.
What a difference it makes in times like this to hear God's promise to be with us. It's not that the fears vanish, they don't always. But we experience them differently when we are not alone. When we are alone our fears can become the focus of our thoughts and feelings - they can consume all of our emotional resources. But when our journey is a shared one, fear does not have the same power over us.
God has made a very specific promise to us when we are going through the most difficult of life's struggles. God has promised to be with us. It is hard to say how God's presence will be made known. Our subjective experience of God's presence may vary widely. Sometimes when we least expect it, we may hear the still, small voice of God saying "I am here". Sometimes God will use a friend, a sponsor, a counselor, or someone in a support group to speak to us in ways that help us to remember that we are not alone. Sometimes God will give us a peace that needs no words.
The important reality is that God is with us. God does not come and go in the way our experience of God's presence comes and goes. God does not forsake us. God walks with us. Even through deep valleys.
God, I am walking through a difficult valley right now.
Sometimes I think my heart will give way with fear.
Remind me of your presence.
Sometimes I know you are here.
Sometimes I'm sure you have gone.
Are you really here?
Please walk close beside me.
I need your protection.
I need your love.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery