The Most Honest Praise is When in a Dark Place.
Updated: Mar 10
By: Glyndora Condon MS MFT LPC
I remember living and suffering through many traumas. Some were life and death situations. Some were brief events and others lasted for years. I was in a very dark place during these times. As I listened to the neurologist explaining to me that my 2 year old granddaughter who had just been in a major car accident; sustaining a broken neck, stretched spinal cord, broken collar bone, and broken left arm; not to mention her left brain was practically destroyed and in much pressure from the swelling and bleeding; had a slim chance of living, and needed immediate brain surgery; of which she most likely would not survive the procedure: I was in shock as my brain played through a dozen “what ifs” in regards to my grandchild. I had already listened to the orthopedic who explained how she was going to be a quadriplegic with a shortened life span, and how his surgery could also lead to death. I remember looking at her broken body, her bruising, and all of the machines and tubes; as she lay in a coma. The words of each specialist brought doom and gloom and my heart quaked. How do I pray?
· Sometimes survivors pray for the life to be saved, regardless of what this may look like for our loved one. Sometimes that loved one is praying exactly the contrary of what we want.
· Sometimes these specialists who are rendering these death sentences, without any hope; are completely in error; should we just allow time for God to work; depending upon His decision as to if He will take this life or if He plans to allow this life to recover to some kind of extent. I have personally known of many misdiagnoses and prognosis’.
· Sometimes the person is spiritually better off or possibly doomed should that life survive or not survive; which weighs in heavily upon we who love the person.
I felt overwhelmed. How do I find goodness and reason in this? How do I support her mommy and daddy as they too are in a crisis? In this time while we are trembling and lost in this darkness, this is when we are to praise God. How? Our minds are funneling through so many negative thoughts and horrific emotions which are taking rule over our hearts. Rational thought is not easy. Emotions are in full charge as fear and anger wreaks havoc. Why? What? When? How? Are the thoughts that keep us in turmoil as our imagination go into overdrive.
Two Biblical people come to mind as I sought answers. I look at Psalms 31: 1-25, as David, a man after God’s own heart, is walking in his own darkness; and also, Paul an apostle who had been beaten 3 times, shipwrecked, and jailed. What did they do?
David gives the first clue: We must trust that God is consistent and good in all things and that He has one purpose to do good for us so that we will have eternal life with Him one day. We read in Proverbs 3: 5-6 some positive affirmation as to God being all knowing and powerful and also, we read of warning against leaning upon our own understanding. Paul was beaten, dragged, stripped, and placed in stocks in an inner prison to secure him and stop him from preaching, yet at midnight we read that he sang praises to God. With his focus onto God, he found hope during an overwhelming time.
Psalms 31: 1-6 shares where our trust is to go, with and into God for safe keeping. The last words that Jesus Himself uttered were, “I commit my spirit” as he died on earth and took our punishment; and within 3 days, he arose which was witnessed by over 500 souls, which was documented by scripture but also by non-Biblical and secular accounts. His death was not good but good came from it, our hope for salvation. We simply do not know what God’s will is during our crisis, but what we are to trust in is; His will is eternal goodness for us and for others through us, as we are pruned and as we walk through trials and tribulations. Daniel, as he faced the lions, knew; God knows what he needed and God loved him; and therefore, he entered with faith that God’s will was to be done and therefore he praised God.
What would happen if we removed the egg from the incubator too soon? No life. Yet we want to rush God and become faint and weary as time drags on. We must remember that God never tires, and does not need rest (Isaiah 40). He is all knowing, everywhere, and all powerful. He is in charge.
Let’s picture ourselves in the waiting room, waiting for God. We wait impatiently as God tells us to be patient and still. We are pacing, as God prepares us. We blame and argue, as God understands that we cannot understand what He is doing; and when we are finally at a point when we have exhausted all of finite ways to recover, overcome, or to escape; we finally succeed to put our selves and our spirit into His hands with the resolve to accept whatever this looks like for us. When we are ready, He then moves with His plan. Our troubles may not disappear, but He helps us to deal with them more effectively and with less anxiety. Whatever and where we are, these are exactly where God wants us and therefore rejoice and be glad in it. Heaven will surely be worth it all, and someone along with us, is being blessed somehow. God gives and God takes away. We never deserved or merited any blessing yet we are continuously blessed, in whatever situation we live.
For we who can see, or walk, or smell, or touch, or hear, or speak, or sit, or stand, or think, or share, or sing, or run, or enjoy the earth’s atmosphere, weather, gravity, and the many, vast, constant blessings that God showers upon us; be grateful. Every blessing is from Him. Our soul’s salvation and our very existence is to His credit and due to His sacrifices for each of us. He gives and he takes away, blessed be the name of our Lord. Therefore, the next time we find ourselves in a valley of darkness, we will fear no evil for He is with us and we will know that it takes this to grow us to where He needs us, to prepare us for His plan.
My granddaughter lived, and is not a quadriplegic. She is smart and loving. She does not walk like you and me, but she still walks and she has a purpose. We have seen her story bless so many and trust that she too is blessed.