When Darkness is your Closest Friend.

Allison Stevens —  October 15, 2009 — 13 Comments

despairEver feel like giving up?  Are you tired, worn down, depressed? Have you’ve tried to make things better, but no matter what you do, you fail? Feel like you have no friends? No one to talk to?  Do you feel desperately alone?

When there is absolutely nothing else to cling to, there is a book of the Bible that speaks to us in our darkest hour. The Psalms. The writers of the Psalms don’t hide their true feelings when they describe their anguish, loneliness and abandonment.  In Psalm 88, the writer is despondent; he’s despairing of life. He calls out to God; he asks God why He’s deserted him; he talks about how bad things are. Almost as an indictment towards God, he asks “Can the darkness speak of your wonderful deeds?”  He’s saying, “Lord, I’ve had enough! I can’t take anymore.”  Then he cries out to God again saying “O, Lord I cry out to you. I will keep on pleading day by day.”

The Psalm ends with “You have taken away my companions and loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend.”

Those are the saddest words. I don’t know about you, but I have experienced that kind of agony. And at times the only thing that kept me going was simply holding on to my belief that there is a God.

When we go through the valley of death (Psalm 23:4) we need to know that we have a God who cares and won’t leave us there.  We have to know that. Even when everything around us confirms our misery, we can cry out to God and know that He will eventually answer. I know, sometimes it feels like an eternity before He comes to our aid. It’s during those times of silence that we can get a seed of hope through reading the Psalms; that although we go through struggles that threaten to kill us, others have gone through it too, and have survived. Our relationships, our desires, and our faith can be restored and strengthened as a result of enduring. 

Some people get help through counseling, some by seeing their medical doctor. These can be good ways of getting through dark days. But also, the most necessary help is found in God’s Word. The Psalms.

Allison Stevens

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13 responses to When Darkness is your Closest Friend.

  1. you know as i have read some of the book of psalms the only thing that helped me was lots of prayers and now the reminders of hey god’s right there with you and he’s going before you and if we pray he hears us is all encouragement i pray that who ever is going through this type of stuff finds peice of hope and love and kindness as they endure the darkness. amen

  2. please i need bibles to study at everyday.

  3. i feel sometimes all that is left to do is turn to god. so people go to him whenever they are in need, but i try to keep relations open for any reason. i use to say all our set backs in life were to make us learn, but if you are so set in your own ways god’s message will never be clear. you will never live a full, wholesome, happy life.

  4. though we find comfort in the words of others, sometimes we need to stop and consider the time spent in this condition by this person. much of the Bible is written in retrospect of the event. life is not lived in snipets. In a movie where a mother was seeing off her daughter as she went to serve in WWII, a friend tells her that the 2 years will go by quickly. Her reply is, ‘yes, the years go by quickly, its’ the days that seem so long.’

    We need to learn to vent, honestly without whining. to consider that we learn hope through despair.

  5. How do you know how to pray? I was taught we are not suppose to pray for ourselves. I just want to lie down and have God bring me home.

  6. I am currently reading “Talking with my Father” by Ray C. Stedman, I got this book through RBC Ministries. I started reading it because I was struggling with prayer, and it truly has some life-changing ideas in it. I would highly recommend it for anyone wanting to put more into, and get more out of, their prayer lives but don’t know how.

  7. I am in deep despair since the suicide of my son…we don’t know for sure but it was ruled as such. Our family is in shambles. We are Christians and so was our son. We don’t know why this happened. Darkness is my closest friend on most days since my precious son was taken. I understand King David’s anguish..his anger. God seems all too silent sometimes. What now? I am broken.

  8. I am so sorry to hear about your son’s death. I am in dispair too. i don’t know the answer for my problem, but for you. You can rest that your son although he was in dispair and for whatever reason he took his own life. I believe that he will rise when Jesus returns and you will see your son again in heaven. People think they know what happens to a specific person when they die, but only God knows. Think of the thief on the cross. We know from reading the bible that he will be in heaven. But at the time of his hanging I am positive that christians looked up at him and thought he would not be going to heaven because of his sin, but Jesus had a secret conversation with him and we know the wonderful ending. Look at steven when he was martryed in Acts 7, Paul (Saul)who was responsible was not a christian at the time. Won’t Steven be surprised when he gets to heaven to see Paul(Saul) the man responsible for his death there? Read the story. We will all be surprised. We don’t know anyone’s heart when they die, and we have no right to judge, we are only humans, Only God knows. Your son was very sad for some reason, but only God knew his heart when he died. Rest assure you will see your son when Jesus returns. You also must hang onto that his world will end soon and heaven and a new earth will begin. This world is not the end, believe me.

    That is how you can have hope while you are here. What you can do now is share the hope of Jesus with others who are in dispair, drug addicts, alcoholics, the sick, the poor, etc. But not the hope that life will get better in this life, because we don’t know. Share with others about the life to come and they will hopefully have hope and can live on until Jesus returns.

    I hope this helps and it doesn’t sound like babble.


  9. wonderful description… sometimes you may feel so lost in fear and life so you just have to grab on to what you believe

  10. I was drawn back to this article and am glad that it is buried deep. Why is it that just when you feel that you’re finally coming up for air, breaking away from the darkness that seems to surround you, smother you and comfort you all at the same time, you are thrown back into that pit of hell again? Is it a choice? Well you wouldn’t feel that way if you just turned to God more. If you trusted Him more. If you focused more on God and less on what goes on around you. Ignore the wounds that are inflicted? Is that what we’re supposed to do? Is that the only freaking way to break out of the darkiness for good? That’s such a load of crap. Pray more, read more, trust more. Come on! You know what, some things God just doesn’t care about. I don’t get it. Maybe to him it’s just not that important? What if it is something that crushes your heart repeatedly, makes you want to crawl back into the darkness where it’s safe? Why wouldn’t he care? Persevere, keep trying, trust God he won’t abandon you. It’s hard. It’s so hard I want to throw the towel in. I don’t want to open myself up to more pain. Why should I, in order to find real life? There’s has got to be a better way. Maybe there is no way. Maybe we are supposed to be content? But I hate the darkness! It was my closest friend for as long as I can remember and in one small comment, one heart crushing stupid thoughtless moment i feel it calling back to me. “Just give it up. You really think there’s something differennt for you. You are nothing. “

  11. I spent most of my life trying to destroy myself because I was angry about my mother taking her life when I was 7. No matter how many people tried to love me or do for me, the lost of my mother was at the forefront of my mind. I got involved w/ drugs, criminal behavior, and suicide attempts. I spent alot of time in various jails and prisons. Then I faced my anger towards her in a positive way, so I could start the healing process. I begin to trust God with those emotions and take Him at His Word, whenever a read about Jesus sacrificing His life for me. I started believing that no matter who I lost in life,(which I’ve Lost almost my entire family now), God will always be with me. He put wonderful people in my life and He took them away also. But He has filled every empty spot within me and given me the strength to carry on. I am a minister of the Gospel and I give back to others who have simular struggles.
    Today I have a reason to live and I live for Christ. Never give up!!!!! God has a plan for everyones life, no matter how it starts out or ends up.

  12. Cheryl, losing someone you love is painful enough. But when they choose to leave by their own hand, that feels almost unbearable. Not only is there the grief over the loss, but it’s compounded with the rejection–they chose to leave. Check out my booklets on grief and grief after a suicide on the hfml site at: http://www.helpformylife.org/Products/How-Can-I-Live-With-My-Loss-%28Booklet%29__CB921.aspx and http://www.helpformylife.org/Products/When-Youre-Left-Behind–Surviving-The-Aftermath-Of-Suicide-%28Booklet%29__CB071.aspx
    After you’ve read them, please feel free to post your thoughts in response to what you’ve read. It can be a real encouragement to others on a similar journey.

  13. Jennifer Decker April 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I have been diagnosed with severe depression (constant for 20 plus years,) bipolar-angry/depression, anxiety, PTSD and borderline personality disorder. I have tried medications… they only help with the suicidal thoughts, but not the dispair. I go to therapy… I even have tried support groups. When discussing the religious end of it I always get the same typical response… just change the way you think. I agree it is important and it is what God wants. He wants us to be happy, but why the proven chemical imbalance in my brain. Why do I have to do to help with this process that I have struggled with for 1/3 or more of my life. I have prayed. I have begged. I have asked others to pray for me. I have had someone pray over me. I have read scripture. I have asked for help. I try to keep things in my life that make me smile-art, cartoons, books, entertainment. I am lost and scared. I want to be relieved and see no hope. If I am sick chemically-due to genetics-does God forgive me for my sins of negativity? Am I allowed to make mistakes even though I have done them before but I can’t stop with my despair because of the lack of dopamine? I want to go home… I do not want this life… Yet, if I am to stay, which I believe I have to since God has prevented me several times from going home, how do I survive without giving into death. I need some guidance. I need some hope. I want some contentment. I am not asking for erasing my past. I am not asking for money, a home or cars. I am not asking for a soulmate. I just want some contentment with myself and life.

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