From the moment Mary’s mother, Jena, was diagnosed with terminal cancer until the time of her death, Mary’s friends pitched in and did whatever they could to help. Mary appreciated the assistance very much. On the day of the funeral, the friends were there again showing their support and care.

Three months later, most of Mary’s friends have gone on with their lives. Mary doesn’t blame them. She knows all that they had done for her when she was going through the trial. She knew they had sacrificed and given to her.

While Mary knows her mother is in Heaven, she misses her deeply. Mary is walking through the dark valley now. She will come out on the other side hand in hand with the Shepherd of her soul, Jesus, but for the moment she feels pretty alone.

When it really comes down to it, no matter how much friends help us, it is only our Shepherd who goes through the valley with us. It is only the Lord Jesus who really understands.

When Jesus hung on the cross, He said, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” for at that moment God had turned His back on Him as He took the sins of the world. Jesus was willing to be alone so that we would never have to be.

Maybe right now you understand how Mary feels. Remember, though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you aren’t alone. Your Shepherd walks with you.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder