In the horror movies, the one who always is about to get the axe (either literally or figuratively) finds himself or herself alone, and it's often dark. You know the dialogue:
"Hello? Hello? Is anybody here?" *feels around for light switch*
Cue dramatic music.
*Finds light switch* Bad guy is right there. Dramatic scream. Screen goes black.
It's always in the dark. And it's always alone.
Darkness and loneliness have a proclivity of cohabitation, shacking up like two hipsters who drink tea instead of coffee and watch indie flicks while wearing wool caps in August. And much like those caricatures, the end is about the same: loss, disillusionment, scars, and fear.
Oh the fear.
There were about three times in the inky fog of the past couple of months where I genuinely felt alone. That has nothing to say about the Framily who was around us. It's a spiritual issue.
The darkness crept in. The dramatic music moaned. The intonations of Alfred Hitchcock were probably in there too.
Man, it was a bad place emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and even physically. You find yourself grasping for light switch in a dark room while you just know the bad guy is waiting there, breathing down your neck, ready to separate you and life.
It's a bad place.
Graciously, two things happened in those three times I felt the darkness. One actually happened long before those episodes, but it's still grace.
The first thing that happened was a verse came back to mind. Joshua 1.5 says, "No man will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will never leave you or forsake you." I remember memorizing that verse. I remember drawing strength and courage (the very thing the Lord says to Joshua - be strong and courageous) when facing some other things in life. But it came back to mind. Just a pastoral hint here: if you don't memorize Scripture, you don't have bullets in your gun.
The second gracious thing that happened was the Spirit spoke that over me and to me with authority. That part I can't do or conjure. The Spirit said, "I will never leave you or forsake you." And He said it in such a way that gave me strength and courage to face whatever was happening. I believed Him. In my bones, I knew He would never leave us or forsake us. No matter what came or hit the fan, He would be right there.
I was not alone.
And you're not either. Ever. Amen.