Psalm 18:28 – You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
There are days that feel inexplicably unbearable. There are no identifiable triggers, no events that set it off. They just happen. Today started like any other day. It should have been easy: the kids were taking a test so I could concentrate on getting some grading done, last day of the quarter and a teacher work day tomorrow, a day off on Monday to look forward to . . . But for some reason today I just. couldn’t.
I think when Satan has had a stronghold in your life, it’s easy for him to sneak back in and attack. I spent the past year in a pretty chaotic emotional state. I hesitate to say depression, because I have never thought of myself as capable of being depressed, but if I’m honest, it was pretty close. Today I was under attack. I was right back to that place I thought I had been rescued from.
I walked into my windowless cement block of a room this morning and felt it all closing in on me. Fortunately arriving students forced me to pull it outwardly together, smile, exchange pleasantries, and act like a put-together adult. But on the inside I was struggling. I got my students started, then went to my “battle corner.”
In the back corner of my room is a filing cabinet and desk. My filing cabinet is covered in 3 X 5 cards on which I’ve written verses and quotes full of biblical truth. On my desk is another stack of 3 X 5 cards – verses, biblical promises I have claimed and collected and keep on standby for when I need them. Usually the promises I need for the day have to do with working hard for the Lord, loving as Christ loved us, being patient and kind . . .
Today, I walked back there praying inwardly: Lord, I can’t do this today. I can’t do this and I don’t know why. I’m falling apart, I’m slipping into darkness. I need help, I need rescue, and I need it now. Immediately, my eyes fell on this verse:
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.Psalm 18:28
I picked up the card, slipped it into my pocket and walked back to the front of the room to my “working” desk. That was where it stayed for the day. I placed it in front of me and read it over and over. I fingered it in my pocket as I walked around helping students. I carried it with me to lunch. It came home with me and it sits beside me now.
I won’t tell you that I felt an instant peace as I read that verse. I didn’t. I fought this battle all day long. I continued to pray. I continued to ask for emotional help and relief. It didn’t come – not immediately. But I fought my battle by believing the Word God gave me today. I couldn’t feel it, but I believed it. I believed that God would keep my lamp burning. I believed that God would turn my darkness to light. We have to battle our emotions and our doubts by choosing to believe, even if, and especially when we don’t feel it.
I came home exhausted; not because the kids had been particularly difficult or that I was extremely busy. I was just spent from my day-long battle with my emotions and my unbelief. God kept my lamp burning; the flame may have been faint, but Praise God, it still burns. God is and will turn my darkness into light.