Read His Words Before Ours!
I remember feeling like I had fallen into a deep pit, so deep that only a small circle of light marked where I used to walk. Not only did the darkness envelop me, it seemed all breath had been knocked from my lungs, and the ability to cry out for help remained just out of reach. The college semester and its expectations were rapidly spiraling out of my control.
Had I actually fallen?
No, in reality I remember standing in a well-lit lobby surrounded by friends. My body with them. My thoughts and emotions solidly resting at the bottom of that figurative dark pit.
However, in that moment, I suddenly understood how the thought of suicide made sense. From that vantage point of near darkness where the overwhelming expectations of perfection and the inability to meet those choked out the light, permanently closing my eyes and fully embracing the blackness seemed like the one option for success left.
All of those feelings, and the circumstances that caused them, were quite real,
but they were far from the truth.
Lying there at the bottom of that figurative pit, the Holy Spirit waged war to pierce the darkness.
For every chill that tried to seep into my bones, He countered it with Truth found in the Word. He did not suddenly pluck me out of the pit overnight, as I so desperately desired. Instead, the Lord showed me His faithfulness by walking with me through the season; one filled with many tears and daily choices to believe He was with me even on the days I felt alone.
In Psalm 23, the psalmist holds on to this truth:
“Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me.”
David, the author of this psalm, had many reasons to write these words. Though I do not know what season of life David was in when he wrote this psalm, I can imagine a few of the scenarios in which he experienced the truth of the words. As a young man, he may have thought them as he stared down an approaching threat to his flock. He may have thought them as he picked up the five stones before facing Goliath. Death would most certainly be the outcome if he did not defeat the giant. Still later in life these words may have risen as a prayer while Saul hunted him. David had been anointed the next king of Israel, and Saul, the currently reigning king, sought David to kill him. David knew the reality of the Lord shepherding him through the dark times. Over and over again, he experienced the faithfulness of the Lord leading him on.
Unlike David, I could quote this verse from memory with an untested confidence of its truth before my challenging college years. In hindsight, I look back upon that time and thank the Lord for allowing me to experience it. It was through the process of trusting Him in the dark that my faith grew and the truth of the verse became a deeply rooted experiential reality. I truly experienced His shepherding me through the season.
The Lord proved His presence in many ways in the midst of the darkness, but His Word remains one of the most memorable, just as it was for David.
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
The Word came alive to me during that season where the light seemed so far away. My desperation to hear the Lord speak, rescue, and lead me caused me to search the Bible for hope, truth, and ways to pray. It became my lifeline during that dark season and has been since then as the Lord faithfully allowed me to find Him there, in His Word.
He’ll do the same for you!
If you find the lights dimming, or the darkness winning,
may the truth in these verses remind you of the faithfulness of the Lord.
He has the ability to make darkness, light and despair, hope.
Allow these truths from the Good Shepherd to steady you, bring you light, and remind you of hope, just as they did for me.
“You will find the Lord when you search for Him with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
“The Lord says He will make the darkness into light before you and He will not leave incomplete.” (Isaiah 42:16)
“The Lord God is my Strength,
my personal bravery, and my invincible army;
He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk]
and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places
[of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!.”
(Habbakuk 3:19, Amplified Bible)
What verses are your lifelines in the dark?
Which ones remind you the Lord is your faithful Shepherd?
Hold fast, dear sister, to the truth in the Word and keep walking.
He is with you!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!