36 Verses for a Weary and Lonely Heart
How do we see the sun when the sky is dark? I’ll go to an illustration I read from a favorite children’s book called The Silver Chair. The book tells of a journey four characters take to a kingdom under the earth. In this scene an evil witch is trying to confuse them by telling them the things above the ground aren’t real. She has poisoned their minds and told them that they only dreamed about things like the sun, sky, and Aslan (the Christ-like character in the series).
Here is one character’s response:
Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”
And that is how I see depression. I’m living in this underground world, where if I look around it looks horrible. I mean I know the world is good, but the darkness seems overshadow everything. If we take the idea from this book, I want to get super practical for you. The idea of just believing in God even when the sun doesn’t shine is a nice sentiment, but practically speaking HOW DO WE DO THAT? I’m going to give you FIVE things that have helped me to see the sun when the sky is dark in my soul:
1. We keep our minds and hearts pointed toward eternity. I love that the Christians in the New Testament were always looking for Christ’s return. Has the fact that 2,000 years has passed dulled our minds? Christ is returning and eternity is coming. Keeping our minds on this truth is key.
2. We read God’s word no matter how we feel. That’s right. Open up the word of God and don’t just read it out of duty. Ask the Lord to open your eyes. Just pray this: “Lord, open my eyes to truth.” Begin with Psalm 1 or Gen. 1 or John 1. Start reading a few verses a day, maybe a chapter. Don’t expect much at first, but keep doing it. The truth will sink into your mind, and your heart will learn to follow.
3. We pray. O this is a hard one. When I’m down the LAST thing I want to do is pray, but it is the thing I need to do the most. What is prayer? Just talking to God. So I tell God everything about my life. I list the worries and fears. Sometimes I write them down, but mostly I just pray in my mind.
4. We get to work. Do the next mundane thing you need to do. It seems crazy, but sometimes I will feel God close while I’m folding laundry or washing dishes. The ordinary days are the best days for me to hear God’s Word.
5. We remember God is nearer to the brokenhearted. A few weeks ago, while battling a hard depression time, I told God: you are near to me. That’s right. I told Him a truth my heart needed to hear. And I said: I will believe what my heart has forgotten.
And that’s what seeing the sun when the sky is dark is all about: believing what our hearts forget. And remembering God is still kind in the dark, and no darkness is dark for Him. And He is closer to us during the suffering than any other time.
You might not be able to feel his presence, but you can know its true. Open his word and prayer. Begin with these verses. I’ve created a nice PDF of some verses to read to remind you that God is near. Download a copy here.