• Today's Daily Devotion
The Lord Is My Shepherd
THE PRISONERS were filled with foreboding as they were herded into trucks and blindfolded. This was the first time they had moved during daylight hours. Something big was ...

The Lord Is My Shepherd

Ralph Gaither could see he was near the end of a line of about sixty prisoners, surrounded by a surging mob. Political cadres yelled to the crowd with loudspeakers, whipping them into a frenzy. The guards ordered the prisoners to move along the street and to bow their heads. One of the prisoners spoke out: “Stand tall, you’re an American.” Gaither and the others held their heads high—and paid the price. The crowd roared. They were struck over and over with fists and rocks. Children kicked their legs. People broke in front of them and spat in their faces. The women took off their shoes and beat them with the wooden heels.

Progress was slow and halting. Men went down and were helped up by others. The violence of the crowd was unremitting. Gaither stumbled and a friend caught him. His friend went down. They finally locked hands to support each other. Someone repeated, “Stand tall, you’re an American.” They kept going. Nearing exhaustion, Gaither started reciting the Twenty-Third Psalm. Others around him picked it up: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want . . .” Gaither said later, “Hand in hand with one another and with God, we walked through that valley . . . I did not try to test God; in fact, I tried very hard to survive. But I had no fear for the next day. God was with me, whether I was to live or die.” In a very real “valley of the shadow of death,” these men were able to lean on God for strength and reassurance. In spite of their hopeless situation, they remained strong in their faith. God did not desert them.

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