My Friend the Darkness
Why, O Lord, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?
… the darkness is my closest friend.
PSALM 88:14,18 (NIV)
When someone has battled a life-threatening illness for years, he or she often feels utterly alone, as though no one else has ever sunk so low in the pit of despair. Psalm 88 is a comfort for such men and women because it shows they are not breaking ground in the field of suffering.
Perhaps the most painful part of suffering is the perceived absence of God. So the psalmist cries out, “Why, O Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me?” (v. 14). In an odd sort of way, it helps us to know that we have not been personally singled out by God to endure some wrenching trial. Others have passed this way before us.
Psalm 88 brings another peculiar comfort in that it ends in a minor key; clouds still obscure the sun when the writer puts down his pen: “The darkness is my closest friend.” (v. 18). He shows us that others have passed this way before … and God honored their journey by enshrining it in His Word. Odd comfort, perhaps – but real nonetheless. Jesus spoke to the people once more and said,
“I am the light of the world.
If you follow me,
you won’t have to walk in darkness,
because you will have the light that leads to life.”
JOHN 8:12 (NLT)
On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky