Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)
TITLE: Overcoming the Darkness
By Joyce Sykes
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Anger stirred within as I searched recent memories trying to determine the reason for the visit. Why was this unwelcome guest here? What mistake was committed that created an open access? However no answers came, as the recollections of long past labels and taunts jumped to the forefront of my mind. They jumped in glee at their escape from the recesses of my memory to attack and ridicule every move I made. Their constant jabs reminded me of my failures, shortcomings and sins, proclaiming how no one would want to be near someone like me. Depression once more had proved itself a cruel master, cracking its whip repeatedly until it gained the upper hand.
How long would it reign in supremacy creating havoc in my life? Hours became days, days turned into a week, and then weeks became a month with no end in sight. Each time frame blended together with the constant barrage of condemning thoughts. Friends and family wondered at the quiet withdraw, yet their questions always received the same reply. I was simply in a quiet mood.
My emotions were numb from the steady attacks magnifying my stupidity, and ignorance. How could anyone and especially the Lord want someone like me? Encouraging words of love and mercy, compassion and forgiveness rang out in sermons and songs; yet they were others not for me.
Meditation in the Lord was impossible, as Scriptures ran together. Prayer was even worse. The overwhelming weight of this taskmaster created an air of hopeless despair deep in my spirit. Would it never end?
Then one morning something stirred in my spirit to try reading my Bible once more. Flipping the pages, it opened to Psalms 121.
‘I will lift my eyes to the hill from whence comes my help.’
If only those words could be true for me. Yet, determined to read on at least to the end of the chapter, I pressed forward.
‘My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.’
That is true He did make heaven, earth, and everything in it. That included me. Slowly a flicker of light slipped past the cruel taskmaster of my mind as I sat meditating on how He has helped so many before me. Could it be true that He would still be there for me?
‘He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.’
As the light became brighter, His truth began overwhelming the shadows.
‘The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.’
He was my keeper, watching over me, protecting me. Hope stirred deep within, as the unwelcome intruder realized his assault was almost over. Condemning thoughts once more came to remind me of my worthlessness. However, this time instead of it having the desired effect a warring arose in my spirit. I was His and He was mine. His word promised it.
“The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.”
The light of the morning filled the room just as surely as the light of His love filled my heart. The warmth of His Presence quickly chased away the last remnants of the artic blast. There was no question where my help came from, it was true; it came from the Lord. Hope in Who He was, Who He is and Who He will be in my life arose like the dawn of the a glorious new day on the heart of this child of God.
Psalms 112 NKJV
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