I am susceptible to negative emotions: doubt, depression, discouragement … it is easy to sink into a state of darkness. Anybody else ever have that battle?
Turns out those negative emotions are well understood and the psalmist took great care to work through them. Let’s take a look at one example.
The psalmist describes crying out to God – he was miserable – couldn’t sleep – began to feel weak …
Even as God showed up at his side, the psalmist was “too troubled to speak”.
Ever been there? Life was too tough to even figure out how to pray.
What came next for the psalmist is something we are often afraid to do – questions about our relationship with God:
Will the Lord reject me forever?
Will He never show me favor again?
Is His love gone?
Has God forgotten me? Forgotten mercy?
Is He so mad at me that there is no compassion from His hand?
When we enter those dark places of life, it is not unusual to wonder what God is doing. He knows what we think so we might as well work through the process – ask Him.
We don’t magically transport from darkness to light … we have to walk from one place to the other. Talking to God about what is really on our hearts is part of the journey.
So how did the psalmist pass from the darkness of his misery into the light of God’s presence? The same way we still have available to us.
He remembered …
That God’s ways are holy
That the Lord has done amazing things for His people with power, miracles and deliverance.
That God has ALWAYS led His people.
God’s first attribute is that He is holy.
So if I want to be in His presence – I have to drop the sin at the cross. I can’t stand in the presence of a Holy God while clinging to my sin or my “right” to sin. I don’t have to let go of sinful ways – I get to choose. But if I want to stand next to God – He will not be in the presence of sin. It’s that simple.
God is powerful.
I need to drop my strength and use His. I can continue floundering around this world in my own strength but I can’t overcome darkness in my own abilities. For real power – there is only one source that trumps darkness. The true light that came into the world.
God has always led His people.
That characteristic is eternal. Read the Exodus of His chosen nation, the path of David to kingship, Jonah’s voyage, or how His Son Jesus slipped through crowds until the time had come ... for salvation to enter the world.
Having some dark days?
Remember God – everything about Him –
and walk as you remember… the path from darkness into light.
May we all have “songs in the night” that last us through the journey.