It is impossible to travel safely in all my road trips across America unless I have my Waze navigation system open on my phone. When you are going through a dark and painful night of the soul, it may take a while before you remember that God is your guide—and that he wants you to have his help.
To find your way again, you are going to need directions that are super simple and easy to follow. Lay hold of the “main and plain” doctrines of the faith, and stick with the Word of God. You cannot rely on your memory of what God is like. God’s Word is the complete road map for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. But you have to look at the map, right now. It is not good enough to have looked at it five or ten years ago. What it says each day, stick to it and follow its directions:
1. Reach out to God
He is your refuge. He is your stronghold of hope. He is always there for you; all you have to do is turn to him and say, “Here I am.” (John 6:68; Psalm 103:4)
2. Reach out to a Trusted Community
Seek help and comfort from family and friends. If you feel you don’t have friends like the ones who carried a man on a cot to Jesus (Mark 2:4; Luke 5:19), you do have the greatest friend in the world, and Jesus is right with you day and night. Ask him to come to you.
Worship him by trusting him with your biggest, messiest questions. He wants you to do this, whether you bring him some big philosophical question, or some emotion-laden practical thing.
Forgive others for trying to fix you and forgive yourself for failing to meet self-imposed expectations. Forgiveness is a choice and no one can do it for you, but practicing forgiveness leads directly to a restoration of hope. Period!
Lord Jesus, instead of hiding my pain, I bring it to you. I choose to worship you with my questions. I believe that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and to set at liberty those who are oppressed. I present my past, my present, and all that I hope to be—my future—to you. I choose to believe that you have a hope-filled plan for the rest of my life. Gracious Lord Jesus, thank you! Amen.