The Shadow of Death

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Can You Tell Me? | 6 comments

The Shadow of Death

Here is a transcript of what I shared in our Lexington Women’s Aglow meeting in 1980, just after we returned home from burying our son.

It is good to be home with you. But I want you to know that our God is a God of victory. Our God reigns today! Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we need to fear no evil. I can tell you this today because I have lived it. Our God does reign. He’s mighty, Hallelujah!

He’s a God filled with love for us. That’s what I have in my heart I would like to share with you this morning: the love of God. St. Paul prayed for the church that we would be rooted and grounded in His love. If we are rooted and grounded in His love, no matter what we go through, is alright.

If we know the love of God, know it so deep in our hearts, it can takes us through any situation, any experience. If you know you are truly loved, nothing can destroy you. This is why love is called the greatest thing.

Touched by the love of God

Because I often felt unloved, I had prayed Paul’s prayer for  several years. God answered my prayer right after we buried our son. High up in the airplane, as I was flying home from David’s burial, the love of God descended on me like a cloud of love. It went right into my body and filled my entire being. I will never forget it.

So that Christ will dwell in your hearts through faith and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth. and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God (Eph 3:17-18)

God wants us to be rooted and grounded in His love. His love doesn’t fail; it doesn’t stop. No matter where we are at or what we do. No matter if we fail, no matter if we are weak in faith, no matter wherever we are. God doesn’t fail. He doesn’t stop loving us. He doesn’t turn His back on us. And His ear is open to our cry.

Take David to Miami

I would like to share with you how God met us in Miami, in David’s home going. We left on Sunday morning. The doctors had told us on Saturday that David had less than a week to live. My husband went before God, and He knew that we had to go to Miami anyhow, but we didn’t know why. We anticipated God meeting us there some how. That’s what we felt in our hearts would happen. So we took the biggest risk of our life.

We boarded that airplane with one very sick boy. David had a couple of wonderful days where he was able to be out; he enjoyed the sunshine. We went to Sea World. He wanted to be put down into the swimming pool.

We were so glad to be there where everything in nature was alive, where the sun was shining, where spring was. Because up here in Boston it had been a long dark winter. The flowers were out there too. Everything just reminded us of life—it felt so good to feel alive. We felt like a fresh wind had come into us and revived us.  Just being in the sunshine was a warmth to our soul, and a refreshing of our spirit.

God sends 3 elders

Then we went through some very difficult moments with David. During the night I could see that he wasn’t doing well. When he was finally admitted to the hospital, we were they told he had a few hours to live. He had viral pneumonia. Did we want him on a respirator? Otherwise he would choke to death in his own fluid. With that, I ran out of the room and cried out,  “Oh God isn’t there a chaplain around?”

I looked up and there was a man in a dark blue suit. I asked, “Are you a chaplain?”

He said, “Yes.”

“Then come quickly, my son is dying. We believe in God, come.”

He came with us to David’s room. When we arrived, I saw that he didn’t know how to pray, and he didn’t have any faith. I quickly said, “Do you know any man of God in this area who has faith?”

“Yes, I do,” and the left the room.

Then the young intern working on David looked up and said: “I’m a man of faith; I’m a man of God. I’m Spirit-filled.” He handed me a card and said, “This is the name of our pastor.”

I looked at the card and was astonished. This man had been in our home several times over the years. He was a leader of a small church in Miami. We had called him once, and he knew we were there in Miami. That connection was really beautiful, and gave us the courage to believe that God was with us.

Earlier that morning I’d phone a friend in California who said, “I don’t know anybody there, but on the back of this book I have, there is the name of a neuro-eye surgeon living there. Why don’t you see if you can find him.”  That book was ten years old or so.

I looked in the phone book and found this man’s name. I called his office. He turned out to be two blocks from the hospital where we were at. His secretary was a spirit-filled Christian who loved the Lord. Just the warmth of talking with another believer, when were total strangers in the area, was such a gift to me. She said, “I’m sure The doctor would be glad to see you after three in the afternoon.”

I soon phoned his office back when I realized that David didn’t have a couple of hours to live. In the meantime, the chaplain had returned and said, “ I just called an eye doctor. He will be right over.” This was the same doctor I had just called!

So all three men converged in David’s room, all elders in the same church. Each didn’t call the other: they were all called separately by God to minister to us and to minister to David.

Back in January, a man from Holland told us  that there would be a moment when three elders would pray over David and he prayed for the unity of the Spirit in that moment. Then said, “But I can’t tell you what will happen.” Now, three months later, here were the three elders! God had fulfilled His promise!

We praise God for the strength these men gave us and for the words of wisdom this eminent neuro-eye surgeon spoke to us. He is a man with great knowledge but such a gentle spirit. He just knelt before David’s bed, so humbly. David said, “Isn’t he precious mom. Isn’t he sweet,” as he just ministered to us and to David.

David’s surrender

We went to bed in peace and quiet, and came back in the morning. David said, “I’m better.”

The doctors were amazed. The viral pneumonia was gone! It spread through the hospital that there was a miracle happening.

That afternoon David said to me, “Mom I almost died last night, didn’t I?”

I said, “Yes, honey, you did.”

Then he said, “I told God I wanted to go be with Jesus, but if there was anything he wanted in my leukemia-wracked body I would serve him with it. But there isn’t much left, Mom.” I knew then that in some way he had come very close to heaven and perhaps touched it.

A day later, David struggled again. He said, “I don’t feel like God is with me. I don’t feel that He loves me Mom, because I am in such pain.”

I left his room, cried my heart out in the lobby, praying, “Oh God send me somebody. Send me somebody, my heart is breaking.”

The love of God from Central Supply

All of a sudden a black lady comes up to me. She began praying over me powerfully and hugging me. The love of God and the comfort just flowed into my heart again. I didn’t know who she was or where she had just come from. It turned out, she’d come from Central Supply. Our intern had gone and got her for me. He knew I needed somebody. Then she went into David’s room. She wrapped her big arms around his body and  began to pray loudly in tongues.

When she left, David said, “Mom, I now know Jesus loves me.”

From that point on he sang the song, “Jesus loves me.” And he continued to sing it over and over in the next couple of days. Just the first line, that was all he would sing: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

Meanwhile, there was a great struggle going on for his life. I could feel the fight between life and death and the spiritual war raging. The doctors in Florida wanted to treat him with more chemo. They said his organs were still good. But he had suffered greatly and almost died in the last round. David had said no more. He would put himself in the hand of God. We were getting very worn! Then the eye surgeon came to us again and prayed for a quick resolution to it.

A few day later, we passed this doctor in the street, and he stopped and prayed over us. He said, “Just be as children. Just come to God like that.”

He gave us this scripture in I Timothy that identified three things we needed:

This is the goal or end of the commandment, that we have love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith that is unfeigned or unfaked.

Then he said you people have these things, now just rest in God. This gave us such quietness and peace. We knew God was with us. We had been feeling and seeing His great power and strength. (We learned later that these three elders had decided God was going to take David home.)

“O death, where is thy sting?”

That night my husband prayed, “Lord we give you back the vision for David’s life. And we give you David, just solve this quickly.”

I went in to sit with David; it was 4 am in the morning. He was up in a chair; we visited a little while, and he asked when we might go home. I told him I simply did not know. Then we sang together the scripture from Psalms 27, “The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear.” And David fell asleep.

I sat down and prayed, “Lord Jesus, I give you back the vision. David says he prefers to go be with you. I give you David as Abraham gave you his Issac.”

I began to pray, “Come Lord Jesus, come.”

In a few moments I was aware that a presence had entered the room and was hovering right over David. I felt the most beautiful peace. I saw David’ breathing slowly leaving him. Not a shudder, not a cardiovascular collapse. Nothing but peace!

I went over and stood beside him. As I did, my spirit exploded into a million rays of life and light. I could not even weep at that moment. Nothing but joy filled my heart. Here was the moment I had lived in terror of my whole life: the death of a child. But there was no death here, only life!

As I ran to get my husband, I felt the most beautiful release in my spirit. It felt like I must have experienced David reaching glory. I felt something burst forth in my heart.

The next morning, I awoke out of my sleep praying in another language and immediately knew what the Spirit of God was saying. “I took him, before death took him. I always come and take my own. I want you to know my own never die.” The doctors had warned us that certain complications would begin to happen, but they never did.

God woke me up a couple of mornings later and spoke to me again. “Don’t look to the left or to the right, but keep your eyes on me, and I will heal your heart. And don’t question what went wrong. And the word is exultation; I allowed you to experience David’s spirit as he entered glory.”

I have such a knowing of eternity of life with Jesus Christ, such a sense of continuity with life. I just know that David is with God, that he is alive.

It is good to know the power of God, even in the shadow of death. I hope I can impart this to you: don’t ever be afraid of the valley of shadow of death. There is no fear in death, there is no torment in it. There is nothing in it, but God’s glory. Even what we call death is God’s glory, God’s power and God’s might. Even when we have endless questions: Why? Why? Why are we going through these things? Why did they happen to us? Why did we seemingly fail? Why wasn’t the vision fulfilled.”

After being sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph said, “They meant it for evil, but God has allowed it for my good.” (Gen. 50). This became my position, my stance.

The Valley of Baca

Recently someone gave me a little pamphlet called, “Passing Through the Valley of Baca.” The valley of Baca means the valley of weeping, the valley of grief. When we pass through the valley of weeping, the valley of grief, we can let our suffering go deep and dig a well so we can drink from the living water. We can make it a well where we can draw up of His great strength, His great power. We know we don’t have this strength, but we can draw upon God’s great power right within us. When you begin to question God about why you are going through things, He wants you to dig a well and find living water.

How blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring. (Psalms 84:6-7)



  1. This is an amazing testimony of God’s faithful presence, love, and care. Thank you for recording it here – making it available to read, share, and receive the depth of God’s blessings as often as the Spirit leads. My heart is responding with the song, “Surely the Presence of the Lord is in this place.”

    • It is because of your encouragement to share my God-experiences that I am doing this. Thanks!

  2. Judy….a read your writings and was totally touched by your honesty, ability to get to the deeper self and articulate it with so much heart and feeling. I hope you know just how special a woman you are. You have a beautiful God given gift to reflect the Lord’s love to others. I’m happy to be your friend . Blessings…Rose

    • Thanks Rose for your feedback! It was a blessing yesterday to hear how God is helping you find new meaning and purpose after the loss of your husband! We can put our trust in God.

  3. I am so moved to read this.

  4. Danke – grazie- tak- thank you- merci- Judith and thank God for your testifying His never-ending love stronger than any boundary.
    Wishing you and all your dear ones my very best,i.e. continuous growth in God`s love through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour,

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