I’m thinking of Isaac Watts’ paraphrase of Psalm 23:
“When I walk through the shades of death
Thy presence is my stay.
One word of Thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.”

A week ago, Nabeel Qureshi, Christian apologist and author of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and No God but One, announced that his doctors have put him on palliative care, that his body, after a year of fighting cancer, is shutting down. So I’m guessing he’s walking through shades of death this week, and I’ve been grieving and praying.

This week we happened to be walking through John 11 in our evening family times: the story of Lazarus, taken in tiny bites. There’s Christ, who stayed away and let Lazarus die because he loved them. And there’s Christ, who knows he’s about to raise the dead man, weeping for the sorrow he’s about to undo. And there’s Christ, bidding that dead man to come out. And the dead man came out.

This week I happened to be reading Revelation in my mornings, and there’s Christ again, promising to wipe away every tear. Promising that death shall be no more. And there’s a hope, better than Lazarus’ earthly resurrection: the One who declared himself to be the Resurrection and the Life will dwell with us as our God, will make all these sorrows pass away, will make all things new.

He walks with us through shades of death. He walked through them before us and for us. We wouldn’t breathe without his breath, and his breath tells us to “Fear not.” Not because there aren’t things to fear, but because he’s already told us the ending of this story, and it’s a happy ending:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”  –John 11:25, 26 

(She said to him, “Yes, Lord . . . .”)


I’m linking up with the Five Minute Friday crew today, even though I spent longer than trying to pull these threads of thought together. The button above will take you to the FMF site, where you can find others’ musings on this week’s prompt, support.

©2017 by Stacy Crouch

4 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: support

  1. Thanks for leaving this beauty and comfort for me to find at the end of my day. I have several friends battling cancer right now. The chances are best when we see Him as Jehovah Rapha, God our healer. Still, nothing – not even death – can snatch us out of His hand.


  2. Your post is touching. I am sorry to hear that Nabeel Qureshi’s health is failing. The account of Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus gave me great comfort–an assurance that Jesus knows our pain–when my son passed away. The Lord is with us.


  3. Wonderful post, Stacy!

    I do get the valley of the shadow of death thing, and it’s been a very long walk. Being extremely fit when I started it has prolonged the journey…not sure whether that was a good thing or not! But now a lymphoma seems to be developing atop the pancreatic malignancy, so…yuck.

    At the moment it’s kind of driven me into a corner, and my paraphrase of Ps23 goes like this…

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil…and evil had better learn to fear ME, ‘cos the good may die young, but badass lives forever.

    Cancer picked the wrong dude to try to push around. I’ll see Jesus in the great by and by, but meanwhile I am making my stand here, and it’s going to be very loud.

    #1 at FMF this week.


  4. Thank you for the comfort your words give, even as you are grieving. I find your post to be an example of the truth of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4(ESV) – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Visiting from FMF.


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