Light a candle in a bright room, and not much changes. But light that flame in darkness….and that tiny flicker has an outsized impact.

I went through a dark spell a while ago, and was having a hard time seeing my way through it. I felt like I was on a long march through a dark forest, without a clear idea how far in I had gone – and how much further it would be to the other side. It was as if I could hear the snap of branches in the darkness, things unknown awaiting me that I couldn’t see.

It’s not as if I had fallen out of studying God’s Word in this season – it just….it just wasn’t penetrating. I would read, and read, and read….and it was as if the words on the page just floated past me without sinking in.

And then…God led me to Psalm 42.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise Him,
    my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:5

I will yet praise Him. I will yet praise Him. I knew the truth. I knew God was worthy of praise no matter what was around me. My situation felt bleak enough that praise was a heavy lift…but I knew I needed to raise up a banner of praise, somehow.

In the midst of the darkness, I began praising God. At first, praising Him for anything I could drum up…like, I hadn’t yet been consumed by my circumstances. (I did say things looked pretty bleak!) But that soon led to gratitude for other things that had held steady in this season. And that turned into remembering just how good God had been to me. And then…praise began to rise, simply because of WHO God is.

Though it was a challenging season, I’m grateful for that struggle; going through it keeps me dependent on God today, knowing that the dark forest waits just outside of my lantern of praise—but lifting the flame high in praise of my Jesus will light the way.