Bible Society of South Africa

Keep your spirit up in difficult times … Even if I go through the deepest darkness – 16 March 2023

By Charlea Grey

Bible text(s)

4Even if I go through the deepest darkness,

I will not be afraid, LORD,

for you are with me.

Your shepherd's rod and staff protect me.

Psalms 23:4GNBOpen in Bible reader

Think back to when you were a child. What were you afraid of – can you remember? Were you afraid of clowns or ghosts, or big dogs?

I remember very well that there were two things, in particular, that I was afraid of: school nurses and the dark.

I was afraid of any school nurse, because I knew they would come and give us vaccinations at school. The idea of that made me break out in a cold sweat – literally! The idea of a vaccination still makes me almost faint, so it really takes all my courage to visit a nurse or a doctor.

And then, the dark. I am a little less afraid of the dark now, but as a child, I always recited Psalm 23 in my head when I found myself somewhere in the dark. For example, if for some reason, I had to walk down the long hallway of our house and the light was off.

I prefer the light because I want to be able to see around me. I think most people feel that way. Apart from not being able to see what is going on around you when it is dark, the dark often makes you feel alone. Lonely and betrayed – it is not a nice combination.

Isn’t it the same feeling when you go through difficult times? If the anxiety of the unknown or the tension of the situation has taken hold of you, then you probably feel just that – lonely and abandoned. You feel scared, like it is dark around you.

As a child, I rattled off Psalm 23 in my head to make myself feel safe, to comfort myself, because I was afraid something was going to catch me in the dark. However, let me be honest, at that stage, Psalm 23 and John 3:16 were probably the only Bible verses I knew well enough to recite! (At least there was the Lord’s Prayer too, but I would have to sing it.)

Still, it was actually not a bad idea to stick to Psalm 23. There is a reason why it is one of the most famous psalms of David. The images it evokes are those of calm, peace and safety – exactly what is needed when there is darkness around you.

Prayer: Father, hold my hand when I go through the deepest darkness. Hold my hand and help me to believe and trust that you will always keep me safe. Thank you for your love and grace that surrounds us every day. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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