I grew up on a farm bordering a river. Eighty acres of the property is a conifer woods along the river. The bank of the river is a great place to watch the sunset.

One evening, a friend and I decided to go to the river and do just that. During the blue hour following sunset, enough light reflected off the water that we didn’t notice how dark it the woods were getting. Turning to walk back to the house, we realized we should have brought a flash light. The darkness of the woods was impenetrable. For a few moments, I felt desperate. How was I going to get back to the house? I had to go through the woods. There was no other way.

The moonlight reflecting off the river gave enough light to walk by, so as long as we kept close to the bank, we could see. I decided our best option was to walk along the river to our neighbor’s fence and follow it through the woods. We did just that. The river was our guide to the fence and the fence was our guide through the trees.

The last few days have felt heavy and dark to me. As I prepared to write this, I grabbed my Bible app and read a couple verses. Both spoke comfort and strategy to my heart. I believe they might to you as well.

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

Psalm 23:4

Even though I am weary, I am not alone on this journey through the darkness. He is always with me. I need that right now.

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:8

This is an excellent strategy. So often in the darkness of the valley, my thoughts wander to all kinds of crazy places. Will this ever end? How did I get here? What will it take to get out? What is here that I can’t see? How do I defend myself? Who is my enemy? Where are they lurking?

Tonight as I prepare to crawl into bed, it is a good reminder that I can fix my thoughts on what I know to be good for my mental health. If nothing else, I know I am not alone in all of this. Perhaps that is the best place to fix my mind tonight.

May your Sunday be blessed with the presence of Jesus in profound ways.

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