Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil. . .
The media is filled with frightening information. Violence and threats of violence are everywhere. The economy is struggling. Our leaders seem to be dysfunctional. It is easy to become frightened. Fear is uncomfortable. And, with the amount of fearful events reported every day an underlying fearful state of being seems normal. “Be frightened about your life, your money, your health, your family,” seems to be the constant mantra of the news and our friends.
To recognize that we are experiencing fear is to know that we are walking “through a valley of dangerous shadows” and this is the first step – the beginning of wisdom.
While it is not possible to just stop being frightened, it is possible to stop being frightened of fear. After all, it is just a very uncomfortable feeling – not the real stuff of life.
. . . I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.
Who or what is the "Thou" that is “with me” and not frightened of fear or evil? The "Thou" is the ever-present-flowing soundless voice of inspired wisdom.
Thou preparest a table before me in the midst of mine enemies.
Fear, the emotional and physiological reaction to being threatened, is the “enemy,” as dwelling in "fear" leads to living a frightened life and this is self-destructive. When frightened we cannot be aware of the “table of good” intelligent ideas laid before us. We cannot see the “green pastures" of pathways through our problems.
It is not panic that will safely guide us through difficult situations – it is creative inspiration that flows from Thou into us, just as the river feeds the trees.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.