How to Talk to Yourself in the Dark

Some days, life feels relentless, and God feels distant. Yet, as soon as I pull away from Him, Psalm 43 pulls me back.

Like the psalmist, I cry out, “For you are God, my only safe haven. Why have you tossed me aside?” (Psalm 43:2a)

Darkness falls quickly, and the walls of the psalmist’s life close in. He has known the Lord intimately and experienced God’s steadfast love and presence, but now he feels rejected.

So what does the psalmist do? Rather than continuing to listen to himself and spiral downward, he starts talking to God. He says to the Lord, “Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me.” (Psalm 43:3a)

The psalmist knows that God’s light and truth can lead him out of his darkness and lies.

This kind of darkness seems impossible to penetrate, and the lies that the enemy loves to whisper sound like the truth. Nevertheless, the psalmist knows the power of God, so he looks past his circumstances, asking God for what seems impossible. He begs for God’s light and truth to guide him.

After the psalmist talks to God, he then asks himself: “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?” (Psalm 43:5a) These are essential and revealing questions, because often, we can’t articulate our fears in a place of darkness.

But as soon as we articulate and face our fears, we can take hold of God’s vast promises that the Lord will walk with us through dark valleys (Psalm 23:4), will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5), and will ensure the waves do not overwhelm us. (Is 43:2).

Lastly, the psalmist exhorts himself “to hope in God” (Psalm 43:5b). He trusts that God will bring him to a place of praise.

He chooses to tell himself the truth, based on who God is, rather than listen to himself, based on his fears.

So today, when life feels overwhelming, will you let God’s Word have the last word?