Twenty-first Day: "I will fear no evil."
He does not say, "There shall not be any evil," but, "I shall not fear it."
It must have been because he knew that he had only to do with the shadow of death, for death in its substance had been removed and only its shadow remained.
"Some one has said that where there is a shadow there must be a light somewhere, and so there is. Death stands by the side of the highway in which we have to travel, and the light of heaven shining upon him throws a shadow across our path. Let us then rejoice that there is a light beyond. Nobody is afraid of a shadow, for a shadow cannot stop a man's pathway even for a moment. The shadow of a dog cannot bite; the shadow of a sword cannot kill; the shadow of death cannot destroy us." Why therefore should we be afraid?
"There is no fear in love. Perfect love casteth out fear. Nothing else can do it. You may argue against fear. You may deride it. You may try and shame it. But all will be in vain. If you would master it, you must expel it by the trust which is born of love. A man comes home fain, and famished. His nature craves for food; but as he enters into his house, he learns that his child suddenly stricken with fever is lying at the point of death, and in a moment he has forgotten his hunger in the paroxysm of love and grief with which he bends over the tiny feverish form, and hastens to moisten the dry lips. Thus the lower passions are subdued in the soul by the higher and so it happens that the most timid spirit which is conscious of the presence of the good Shepherd can sing as it passes onward through the gloom, and its notes vibrate with the buoyancy of a courage which cannot flinch or falter."
Suggestions for To-day.
1. If you are living where God intended you should, if this valley
of shadows be accepted as a present-day experience, then
Christ will be between you and every ill.
2. It is not God's plan that anything should separate you from him; and, if anything stands between you, it is either with your permission or by your choice.
3. Evil cannot separate you from him at any trifle. The table on which was placed the show-bread of the tabernacle had about the bread a golden band, and a hand's breadth away was a second band; so that, if any pieces fell away, it must be over these two golden bands, which was impossible. Round about us are the two strong arms of God; and, whether the psalm be present or future, I can say, "I will fear no evil."
From The Secret of a Happy Day: Quiet Hour Meditations by J. Wilbur Chapman. Boston: United Society of Christian Endeavor, ©1899.