Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (Amplified Bible)

Today is the private funeral for Tony Snow. I did not know him but I, too, will celebrate his life, grieving for this too-soon loss of a fine man. But, who am I to say it was too soon? God’s timing may not coincide with our timetable but He knows the end of the story. Another inconceivable tragedy hit a remarkable family and blindsided them all, leaving them to pick up the pieces of their heart: the Steven Curtis Chapman family is also treading that lonely path of sorrow and loss. I started following the blog of Jim Houser, manager of the day-to-day life of Steven, after the death of their five-year-old daughter, Maria. As he reports, I see that God is the great Healer and each day brings a measure of normalcy to the family. Jim writes, “Steven felt it was important to acknowledge what the family has been going through over these past 8 weeks, and ‘Yours’ has taken on new meaning in recent weeks to many who work alongside Steven. Already a very special song, Steven’s reflections since Maria’s loss in the 4th verse only make the song even more challenging, compelling, and passionate. Concertgoers this past weekend had a chance to take in the new lyric, and on each of the 3 occasions rose to their feet in a standing ovation as Steven sang the closing line in the new verse.

Here’s the new verse lyric…

I’ve walked the valley of death’s shadow

So deep and dark that I could barely breathe

I’ve had to let go of more than I could bear

And questioned everything that I believe

But still even here

in this great darkness

A comfort and hope come breaking through

As I can say in life or death

God we belong to you.”

To the Snow family and the Chapman family, I pray that you will KNOW the God of hope and comfort as He protects and guides you through this dark valley. Amen.