Yesterday a friend and I were counseling another friend. As I was listening, the Lord laid something on my heart - the Holy Spirit illuminated this like it was the first time I'd ever read it. This struggling friend is desperately seeking to be obedient to the Lord - to take the steps He places in front of her. At the same time, she very much longs to feel the desire to do this, not just to do it because she knows she should. This is hard - especially when we are creatures that can be so consumed and driven by our emotions. But my other friend giving advice said, "Sometimes we just have to take the step of obedience. The feelings and desire might not be there at first." And this is when it hit me:
In Psalm 23, David cries out, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..." Did you catch it? David didn't say, "Even though I refuse to get out of bed and curl up in a fetal position in the valley of the shadow of death..." He said, "I walk". He keeps walking. And when you know David's story - when you examine David's life and struggles - you know that the "valley of the shadow of death" was most likely not a physical, tangible place. It was a darkness of emotional, psychological, and spiritual struggle. This man KNEW darkness! He knew what it meant to sin, be broken, to weep and mourn, to be shattered by his deceitful heart, to repent, and to cry out for God's mercy. But he also knew what it meant to keep walking. And apparently, when we keep faithfully trusting and walking - even through the darkness and confusion and numbness - the Lord faithfully walks with us and leads us to His table. In His house! He leads us there. But we have to keep walking.
As I'm writing this, I'm listening to one of my favorite songs, "Everything", by Lifehouse. Jason Wade sings, "You are the strength that keeps me walking. You are the hope that keeps me trusting. You are the light to my soul. You are my purpose. You're everything. And how can I stand here with You and not be moved by You? Would You tell me how could it be any better than this?"
Whatever you're going through, keep walking.
However painful the darkness seems, keep trusting.
"Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!"