"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." Psalm 23:4 The verse comes from one of the most beloved Psalms of all, Psalm 23. Perhaps this verse is one of the most comforting in all of the Psalm as it addresses our fear of death. It gives us the security that even when death approaches us, we need not fear, whether for ourselves or for loved ones in the faith to whom death comes. We need not fear because our God, the Good Shepherd, is with us. The Psalmist goes on to say that the Good Shepherd's rod and staff give him comfort. What do these objects mean? These were necessary tools of any shepherd as the rod helped to guide the sheep with gentile instruction in a way a sheep could understand. The staff, while assisting the shepherd in walking, was also used as a weapon against dangerous predators. With our great God leading us and protecting us throughout life, we need not fear being taken over by any evil. If we are facing a dark valley in life, a great challenge or threat or even death, we can take comfort in the fact that our Lord is with us. The Psalm reminds us that we are never alone, our God is always with us and serves us as the Good Shepherd. Even when death comes near, we can take comfort that we do not face it alone, but rather, we have His ever-watchful eye upon us. The Psalm ends by telling us about the joy that comes after we have walked through the valley of death and the feast that awaits us where the Good Shepherd Himself anoints our heads with oil and overfills our cups. Because of these promises we know that goodness and mercy will be with us all the days of our lives, and that we will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever!