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  • Thomas G. Sowell

A Thief in the Night: Walking Through the Valley...

Updated: Aug 7, 2021

In Memory of

Molly Elizabeth McCormack

Sept. 9, 1992 - April 10, 2014

I have spent more than one night in the valley of the shadow of death. Sometimes it was spiritual, sometimes mental, and yes some of those times were physical. So today, I will be sharing a couple of these instances with you!

Many years ago, I was running an Estate Sale in North Texas. And being that I was unfamiliar with this part of Texas, I drove along a major highway looking for a safe and comfortable place to stay for the night. I soon spotted what appeared to be a good place to bed down for the night. So, I pulled in, went inside, and paid for two rooms. One for me, and one for the sweet lady that was helping me with the Estate Sale.

The first part of the night was quiet, so it seemed I had made a suitable choice. But little did I know, things would change for the worst shortly after midnight. And would stay this way well into the early morning hours! A big concern of mine was, I had several thousand dollars of cash in my room from the estate sale, but an even bigger concern; was the welfare of the sweet lady next door.

And just in case we needed to add to this mayhem, at about three o'clock in the morning someone came knocking at my door. So, I hurried over to the door and looked out the peephole, just in time to see a sparsely dressed woman walking away! By this time, the parking lot was full of cars both entering and leaving, as if there was some big event happening there that night!

Also, the people in the room above me had a lot of company entering and exiting their room, which certainly did not help to calm my nerves in the least bit! It was about this time that the sweet lady next door, who I had hoped was sleeping through all of this, called me! And of course, she was alarmed and wanted to leave at once!

However, I did my best to convince her that staying would be our safest choice. I then asked her to leave her lights off and not open the door for anyone. Next, I told her I would stay up the rest of the night, keeping an eye out for any trouble that might arise, and would promptly call the police if ever necessary! And last, I told her if it were safe to do so, we would leave our rooms right at daybreak!

Thankfully, everything calmed down around five o'clock in the morning, and just before daybreak it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. We then hurried to our vehicle and left like a thief in the night. Well...maybe more like two scared puppies at daybreak!

Now, I realize that many of us, including myself have had much scarier things happen. However, this example reminded me of what shepherds had to deal with while traveling through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. It was a place where thieves would lie in wait in the crevasses of the valley and ponce on shepherd’s as they brought their flock by.

And if successful, they would steal their flock, and in some instances it may even cost the Sheppard his very own life! So, with us trapped in our rooms with thousands of dollars of cash on us and chaos happening all around us, I instantly related to the fourth verse of the Twenty-Third Psalm.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

Psalm 23:4 (KJV)

A few years back, my twenty-one-year-old niece Molly was going through a much tougher valley of her own. Her valley was cancer! And we watched her walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death with a most magnificent attitude. She was like a fearless warrior fighting this horrible disease with all her might, while also having an army of wonderful prayer warriors fighting right along beside her.

Not to mention the endless devotion that her mother, father, and brother had in keeping her as comfortable and inspired as possible. While doing everything in their might to help her win this ever so tough battle between life and death!

Unfortunately, it just wasn't meant to be. And just like the nice lady and I escaped our rooms right at daybreak, so did my precious niece Molly. Leaving her hospital room for the very last time on that beautiful April morning, just as the sun broke the horizon. Walking right into the arms of her loving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! We can now rest peacefully knowing we will see her again one day, along with her beautiful smile and her new glorified body!

At that time, we will learn the purpose for her early exit from this temporary world. And we will celebrate together, knowing what an enormous difference her early exit made in the life’s of so many! Then we will spend all of eternity with her, enjoying her wonderful personality, and that beautiful smile!

Many of you may have a valley you are going through today. For some it may be physical, such as pain, sickness, or disease. With others it may be a mental valley, such as depression, anxiety, or some other emotional distress. While for others it may be a spiritual valley, it just seems like you are separated from God right now and unable to get the answers or comfort you need at this moment!

If this is the case for you, please rest easy in knowing that all these things too shall pass! And that the Lord is always right beside us as we are going through these valleys. While His rod (Word) and His staff (Grace) comfort us. So, fear no evil for He is with you! He will guide you, protect you, comfort you, and when necessary, He will rescue you!

Once the Lord is your Shepherd, He will never, ever forsake you. And that right there is good enough for me. And my hope is, it will be for you as well!

God Bless you all,


Thomas G. Sowell

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