Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Arriving at a destination guarantees that only part of a journey is over. Roseland, MN was the end our journey in one sense. But there were people to see and places to go before moving onward. Looking at the map, I realized I was close to Walnut Grove, MN, where Laura Ingalls Wilder had lived once upon a time on The Banks of Plum Creek. The hour and a half drive across the prairie was filled with excitement. The stories of Laura’s life even now fill the dark places of my childhood with hope and courage.
After watching a delightful pageant depicting the Ingalls’ life in the community of Walnut Grove, it was late. I anticipated driving in the dark, but I had no idea how deep the darkness could be on the prairie. I was not familiar enough with the route home to recognize any landmarks and the county roads I traveled changed numbers with each new county.
My cell phone was the rod and staff I had to comfort me. It reassured me I could always call someone for help. Moreover, the Goggle Map App provided the blue dot that kept me on the right route. When I finally came to a stop sign, I saw the familiar lights on the cross of Roseland Reformed Church. To my surprise, I had been on County Road 5, the very road I wanted to be on all along.
Places of deep darkness are rarely destinations you and I choose to travel. But we are shepherded through these valleys with the rod and the staff we want and need in order to not be overwhelmed with fear. The Lord is our comforting companion no matter where we journey.