Psalm 23:4 Devotional
by Bobby Bruno

"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

Up until I gave my life to Christ my whole life was a valley. It was placed there by my grandfather who had a need to sexually abuse several of his grandchildren, including me. I won't go into the particulars, but it did ruin my life; five suicide attempts, a broken and divorced marriage, a whole lot of anger, a whole lot of depression, and Bi-polar II to boot. But Jesus changed all of that into a life I love living. I love telling others about how Jesus completely changed my life. I am now remarried (to a different, more godly woman), happy, joyous, medicated for the Bi-polar II (and stable), going to school at OCU, and writing articles that are leading people to Christ.

Yes, the valleys were dark, very dark, but they were temporary as they didn't consume my entire life, even if they did last for over fifty two years. Their purpose was manifold: I see people in a different way as people who need Jesus and not as people I hate; I am spreading the word about the power Jesus can have in one's life if they just let Him work His plan in it; I have a future where Jesus reigns, and where His life is being lived through mine for others to see and explore.

In 2012, I had two surgeries to fix tears in both eyes, and a detached retina in one eye six months later. I will need one more surgery to remove a layer of inflamed film from the retina in my right eye. I have to have a large sebaceous cyst in my neck removed soon. All in all, this has not been a good year for me physically. But do I let it get me down, even when I have spent six months of this year with a gas bubble in my eye to promote healing of the retina after surgery, and an inflamed film in the right eye that causes distorted vision that I can't see through well, and the draining and soon removal of a cyst on my neck which means another surgery?

The big answer is no, I don't. Sure, I have raised my hands up to God and said "not again, enough is enough" more than a few times this year, especially now with the cyst. But I don't get too discouraged because I know that my Comforter is right here with me. I have said it before that I trust my God, no matter what He throws at me. There are reasons for these things happening this year even if I don't exactly know what the reason is, other than another trial in which I have to trust God to get me through. It's in the valleys where we learn more about who God is in our lives than at any other time in them. Don't mark me as strange or weird, but I love the valleys because God shows me things in them that I could never see any other way, and I love that about him. I would rather boast about God's work in my life than in anything I have ever done because His work always changes the lives around me whether I know it or not. For me, the valley's are where the wisdom and knowledge of God come shining through.

Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love.  He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.

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