Have you ever had a song stuck in your head and you find yourself humming it throughout the day, to the point where others around you get annoyed by it? The other day that was me. I kept singing the line “Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again…” I also have where I can’t remember all the words to the song so I just sing the same words over and make up new words as I go which really can get irritating to some, just ask my wife. 🙂
Before you think me to odd, let me tell you why I was singing that first line from the 1960’s song the “Sound of Silence.” Believe it or not I was reading Psalm 73 and it starts out rather dark. The Psalmist was troubled by what he saw in the world around him. To him it seemed that the wicked prospered in all they set out to accomplish while the godly suffered. In fact, these evil ones were so bold that they boast against God the creator of heaven and earth.
The writer of this Psalm admits his deep darkness was when he states: “I came so close to the edge of the cliff! My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone,” (vs. 2). Maybe some of you can identify with these honest verses. These days of the virus, protests, riots, and the constant bombardment of negative news can dampen and darken the soul to the point of despair.
But in the midst of the singer’s darkness a transformation happens. Instead of trying to figure it out he turns his focus to the face of God in His sanctuary, (vs.17). The closer he walked toward the light the more he realized he was becoming bitter and enraged like a wild beast trying to make sense of the evil and injustice in the world.
And here is why I started to sing “hello darkness my old friend,” The pain led him into the presence and the presence to the promises of the Father:
“Yet I still belong to You; You are holding my right hand. You will keep on guiding me with Your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but You? I desire You more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.” (Psalm 73: 23-26).
These verses awakened my heart and reminded me how dark times in my past led me to times of desperation, and the only place to go for answers was to look up in the storm and cry out for help. And in His perfect time, healing rain fell down like the loving promises in Psalm 73, and if the Father did this before He will do it again.
The darkness becomes a great friend when it leads us to declare: “I desire You more than anything on earth.” The darkness can be used to exposes all the deceptive lies of our world offering us attractively packaged idols that deplete and destroy our souls. How we need to see this dark season our world is in as a friend calling us back to the promises found in the presence of Jesus who waits for us with open arms.
I believe the Holy Spirit is using the darkness to call us back to find Jesus as our all consuming desire. Instead of letting the darkness lead you to despair see it as a friend helping you rediscover the only relationship that will satisfy your longing soul. And as you do this you will sing out with the Psalmist these final verses:
“But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do! (vs.28).