Who among you fears the LORD
and obeys the voice of his servant?
Let him who walks in darkness
and has no light
trust in the name of the LORD
and rely on his God.
— Isaiah 50:10 ESV
We were sitting in the airport excitedly anticipating our trip back to the US to spend Christmas with our kids when we received a call from our son, “Your daughter is in the emergency room. She won’t wake up. They are treating it as a suicide attempt.” And thus began the darkest year of our lives. Locked on a flight for the next 10 hours without information, I was fighting fear, anger, sadness–did I mention fear? My amygdala had been triggered and would take months to calm back down.
I could write for days about that season of our lives but suffice it to say that darkness and anxiety were our constant companions. I heard myself repeatedly quoting Isaiah 50:10, “He who walks in darkness and has no light, let him trust in the Lord and rely on His God,” and questioned my own heart, “Do you believe it?”
After a difficult conversation we had with our daughter where she told us about some life-changing consequences of her choices, I cried out to God, “When will this end? Please rescue us from this pain!” As my broken body and mind sat at the feet of the Savior that day I saw before me a huge football field full of deep, sticky mud. I was in up to my neck crying out for help. I sensed Jesus saying, “I will never leave or forsake you but I will not take you out of it either. I will walk with you in the mud and you will know Me.” In my picture, I saw Jesus in the swamp with me. Around me, clusters of flowers bloomed out of the mud throughout the field–places of beauty in the midst of my pain.
God provided all I needed that year emotionally, physically, and spiritually. He gave us direction and clarity. He provided sweet moments of connection with our daughter and our other kids that my heart desperately needed. I needed to trust His hand in the darkness and say like Peter, “Where else would I go? Who else has words of eternal life?”
ACTION: Take some time and let your mind dwell on the words to The Solid Rock:
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness…
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, that my hope is built on you alone–that in the darkness I can trust you even when I can’t see you. Thank you that your unchanging grace is sufficient to anchor my heart. I love you today regardless of the mud surrounding me. Thank you that you alone have the words of eternal life and call me to believe in those words.”