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Have you ever wondered what King David meant when he said, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil?” There is nothing as painful and tragic as being faced by death, especially the unexpected ones. But even when confronted by a situation that you know may lead to death, resign your fate to God for He alone holds the power of life and death. God is faithful and can be trusted in such moments. I know what it is to pass through the valley of the shadow of death and what it means to trust God in such moments. Here is my story.
I am the last born in a family of five. My parents are retired teachers who have spent the last decade in upcountry farming and taking care of their home. Being a large family, my parents struggled to see us through high school. Unfortunately, my siblings did not make it past high school because of financial challenges. Being the last born comes with privileges, including being a brother and a “son” to your siblings. I was the only one fortunate in the family to go to university.
After graduating from university, I was one of the lucky few from my class who got a job almost immediately. Being a born again Christian, my time was mostly divided between work and church. I would go to work then attend evening fellowship.
On a fateful evening in April 2012, I finished my work just a few minutes to 5 p.m and asked my supervisor if I could leave immediately because I needed to pass by an ATM before I could proceed to church for an evening service. Being a Friday evening, the city traffic was crazy, so I decided to first go to Church then to the ATM on my way home.
After the evening service, which ended at around 7:30 pm, I boarded a town service bus to town so that I could withdraw the cash. I got to town, withdrew the amount that I needed and bordered another vehicle that would take me home. On alighting at the stage, a man who appeared to have been with me in the same vehicle shouted “thief!” while running towards me. At first, I thought that he was trying some prank on me. I was wrong. Immediately, a crowd of men and women landed on me with kicks, blows, and stones. These people gave me a thorough beating and left me for dead.
At first, I tried pleading with them to stop, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. The more I pleaded, the more beatings I received. I may have passed out at some point because all went silent suddenly. Then I heard the voice of a man and a lady saying, “This one is dead, let’s call the police to take him.” But then I may have coughed or made some movement and the lady said, “No, he is not dead, let’s rush him to the hospital.”
At the hospital, I was taken straight to the theater where the doctors did their best to save my life. From the theater, I was admitted to the ICU where I spent about three days then taken to the general ward. I spent about two months in the ward and later enrolled for physiotherapy because I had sustained a spinal injury, which made it difficult for me to walk.
Through this period I trusted God who had saved me from the mob to heal me. Although I was bitter, I prayed that God would help me to forgive. I finally forgave them and focused on my healing. Although I still find it difficult to walk or stand for long, I am healed. I thank God for saving me in that valley of the shadow of death.
So, if you are confronted by a life-threatening situation like sickness, an attack, accident, or any calamity and feel like you are right in the valley of the shadow of death, remember that God is right there with you. Like Daniel, he will shut the lion’s mouth and safely deliver you. He is your very present help in times of need!