God Is With You in the Darkness

John Perkins  and Karen Waddles
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In her book Breathe, my friend Kay Warren talks about her desperation to find God when her son, Matthew, attempted suicide for the first time. Because her overwhelming feeling was “darkness,” she studied the Scriptures looking for what God says about it. She came across Isaiah 45:3, where God promises to use King Cyrus to free His people from Babylon: “I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places so that you may know that it is I, the Lord God of Israel, who calls you by your name” (NRSV). Kay had to decide whether she trusted and believed that God could bring “treasure” out of the darkness and despair in her heart. She chose to believe Him, and He was faithful—both after her son’s suicide attempt and again years later, when Matthew did take his own life.

“God is waiting for you. He hears your faintest cry.”

At two points in my life I have been at that place where death seemed like the answer. I was in so much emotional torment and pain that it seemed the only way out. They say there are five stages of grief, and I’m pretty sure I had gone through anger, denial, and bargaining with the Lord. But I was stuck in depression. One of those times was when I was losing control of the Voice of Calvary ministry and felt like I had lost any reason to carry on. In my frustration and anger over losing the ministry, I had said things that hurt a lot of people. Pain can carry you to the point of death—and you begin to weigh whether that’s what you really want. Or not.

In a moment of deep despair, I called my friend H. Spees and said, “I don’t know if I’m gonna make it.” He jumped in his car and found me on the floor, sobbing and shaking. He stayed with me through the night, letting me unburden my heart. He helped me see God in all of that darkness. That gave me a glimmer of hope. God Himself was the treasure in that darkness and He gave me the courage to keep moving forward.

Some people turn to liquor when the pain gets that hard. Others turn to drugs. I don’t really believe that people actually want to die when they over-dose. I think they just want the pain and suffering to go away. I think that’s the idea of the song, “One Day at a Time.” If we can just hold on for one more day, we can trust that the same God who brought us this far will keep us.

Maybe you’re at that point now. Feeling like it’s all over. Like there’s no reason to keep pushing on through pain that gets worse rather than better day by day. You can take all that pain to Him. He is waiting for you. He hears your faintest cry. He will hold you. He will keep you. I beg you to trust Him.

For Further Reading:

Count It All Joy

by John Perkins with Karen Waddles

Can joy come from suffering? We think of suffering as the worst of all evils. Our culture tells us to avoid it at all costs. But can suffering...

book cover for Count It All Joy