When You're in Your Darkest Hour
by Laura MacCorkle
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith...
1 Peter 5:8-9, NIV
I had trouble sleeping last night. Perhaps you can relate.
As we get older, we have more responsibilities in our lives which can lead to more thoughts in our minds which can lead to more anxiety which can lead to restless bodies which can lead to sleepless nights. Whew.
Well, my mind was chock full of these "thoughts" last night. Thoughts about situations and potential situations. Thoughts about family members. Thoughts about friends. Thoughts about friends who could be more than friends. Thoughts about upcoming events. Thoughts about inadequacies.
After some tossing and turning and watching the clock hit "the darkest hour," I eventually sat up and turned on the light on my bedside table. God, why am I having these anxious thoughts? Should I be praying for these people and these situations? Or did I just eat too closely to my bedtime again? How do you want me to respond? Are you speaking to me or is it the Häagen-Dazs?
After I extricated myself from a bed-sheet cocoon, I reached underneath my stack of books and pulled out my journal. Now, I'm not a disciplined journaler, so I just write down my thoughts whenever the Spirit leads me (which in my case is really code for "whenever I remember to"). But last night, I really did feel led to write out my concerns and my cries as I sought the Lord.
Now that my supplications and confessions are recorded, I can look back on these late-night scribblings and understand more clearly my own thought processes and distortions of reality. I can see what is vying for attention with my God and causing me to rely on my own understanding and not his.
You might be struggling with this right now, too. Your life is focused on something. On one thing. A job. A relationship. A tragedy. A dream. A child. An illness. A financial matter. Whatever. You are trying to make something happen. You are trying to prevent something from happening. And all of your energy is directed toward this "thing." You feel hopeless and have taken your eyes off of the Lord.
My friend, that's the perfect recipe for a darkest hour-whether during a sleepless night or a restless day. It's an opportunity for the Enemy to get in and fill your mind with doubt. He is the Father of Lies and loves to torment us and mess with our minds in any way that he can.
But, thankfully, we know these things to be true: "... Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5); "Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man" (Psalm 112:4); "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Let us cling to Truth. Let us cry out to the Father. For he will shine his light in the darkest hour.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Whether on your bedside table, in your car's glove box or on the desk in your office, keep a pocket-sized Bible, a small devotional book or Scripture cards at the ready. This will be a visual reminder to you to keep your eyes (and your thoughts) on Truth whenever you are in your darkest hour.