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Do you ever experience those times when you need a reminder that God sees you? That He cares about the pain you are experiencing? Do you ever long to hear His voice speak into the pain of your circumstance?
I’ve been there many times. In those difficult times, it can sometimes feel like we’re walking alone in the dark.
Today I’d like to introduce you to my friend Sarah Gerke Van Diest. I’ve invited her to share a piece from her newly released book, God in the Dark: 31 Devotions to Let the Light Back In because I think it will minister to you.
Hope, faith, identity, and victory are just some of the very real issues that Sarah speaks into with vulnerability, authenticity, and truth in God in the Dark. Through Scripture and then her own reflection, she compassionately yet confidently assures us that while we all have those times of walking in the hard, dark seasons of life, God is always there waiting to hold, guide, and at times carry us through, all the while taking us deeper in our relationship with Him.
O how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever mine.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged,
Because I have observed Your precepts.
I have restrained my feet from every evil way,
That I may keep Your word.
I have not turned aside from Your ordinances,
For You Yourself have taught me.
How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
From Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.
Answers. Understanding. Insight. How we long for those! We want so desperately to know what is happening to us and what will become of us. When the days are dark and we feel overwhelmed by pain or sorrow or confusion, we beg for answers. We believe that if we could simply understand, then we would find peace. That relief would come in the same package as the answers to our questions.
The psalmist found insight. He found understanding and answers. And he calls them “sweet.” But there’s a difference between what the psalmist found and what most of us search for. Most of the time we’re scouring the temporal, hoping to find the answers to our present pains. Our perspective is short-term. Our search is for a solution to our circumstances.
The psalmist is talking about a different search.
He describes the joy that comes from knowing the Father and the Father’s ways. The words of the Father are sweet to him, full of insight and understanding. He delights not in knowing information about his circumstances, but in knowing the Father himself.
Today may be a hard day for you. Your circumstances may be out of control. Pain, fear, confusion, or sorrow may dominate your perspective. Stop for just a moment. Breathe deeply. Quiet your mind and listen. What, above all things, does your heart desire? In the depths of your soul, the Spirit calls to you. He speaks the words you already know to be true. What you want most, above and beyond all things, is the Father. You long to be with him—for his embrace to envelope you. More than anything you want to look into his tender eyes and know he is with you, right now.
Answers are good, but they are temporary. Our circumstances change and so do our questions. But the Father is always. Unchanging. Knowing him is life. Knowing him is peace. The things this life offer us do not compare with the life we have in the Father.
In all things dark and difficult, search for him. Sweeter than the relief of the moment are our Father’s everlasting words. Rest in his arms and trust him with the circumstances of your life. His eyes are on you.
*Adapted from God in the Dark by Sarah Van Diest. Copyright ©2018. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
If this excerpt has resonated with you, I’d encourage you to pick up a copy of God in the Dark so you can enjoy Sarah’s other 30 devotions.
May I pray for you?
Sometimes life is hard, and painful, and it just seems dark. It is true that our circumstances change, as do our questions. But I thank you that you do not. You are unchanging. You are faithful. You are always good. Father, I pray for the one reading these words right now. May they feel your presence with them, even in all things dark and difficult. May they know that you are there and that you will never leave them nor forsake them, but instead, you are there guiding them by your righteous right hand. May they trust in you, resting in your strong, unfailing arms. I thank you for your provision for their every need. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
About God in the Dark
When you are in the dark places of your life, Sarah Van Diest offers a companion for the path you are walking. You will find a voice of comfort and truth to call you back to the light, to help you see that you are never alone, never too far gone, and never unloved. This collection of 31 devotions doesn’t minimize the reality of your struggles, but rather points you to where God is—walking right alongside you. Receive this hope in the pain, God in the Dark.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails