During my teen years I went though a long period of emotional darkness, depression, and emptiness. I was utterly lonely despite having people around me. Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you are in the middle of your own darkness, loneliness, or uncertainty. During those times, it can feel like we are dying inside.
I want to encourage you with this, God has not forgotten you. It was during those dark years that I first heard my favourite Bible passage.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. (Psalms 84:5-7 NIV)
As I listened to the Pastor of my home church read those lines for the first time, it was like a drink of water to my deepest thirst. Life is a pilgrimage. During this journey, God may not take your all our pain away, but He will never leave us without hope. He will always provide a spring of refreshing, in the middle of our deserts.
Those springs come in so many forms. Can you see them? I encourage you to look for glimpses of Him and His love around you every day. Perhaps the refreshing will come in the form of an unexpected phone call. Or maybe He will send his gentle revelation during a lonely walk through a park as you listen to the sounds of nature all around you. It could be specific words of your current bible study are just what you need.
For me, one such time happened through a friend’s letter. In the 90s, the world of technology had taken over. I cherished and relished the feel of actual paper, and the scrawl of ink letters across those pages. She was someone who understood and was not afraid to reach out in true friendship. One of her letters came to me on a day I was thinking of ending my pain.
Looking back, I am amazed how her simple words of, “how are you,” and, “tell me about it,” poured life back inside me. There was someone who was looking forward to our next visit. The Holy Spirit touched me through a friend hundreds of miles away.
Maybe you too are at your end. If so, please call out to Him. He is our living water. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. He sits with us amid our pain. After you call out to Him reach out to someone close to you. It could mean you picking up a phone and being the one to make an unexpected phone call.
Do you know someone else experiencing a time of darkness? You can be that spring of refreshing. A simple, “I am thinking of you today,” text can go a long way.