"Hey! I'm still in here. Don't leave me in the dark!"
Alone and forgotten in the blackness, with pitfalls to the right and to the left, I pondered what to do. How will I ever find my way out of here? How could she just abandon me?
Clickety-click. Someone was coming. Clickety-click. Footsteps. My rescuer was approaching!
Suddenly my surroundings were bathed in light, and I squinted in the brightness.
"Did she leave you in the dark again?" a familiar voice asked. "So how many times has she forgotten and shut off the lights this week?"
"Five, so far. But at least I haven't fallen in yet," I said with a laugh.
Being left in the dark in the ladies room is hardly a life-threatening experience. But it reminds me of the times that I have felt forgotten by God, abandoned in life's dark circumstances ... the days when I could not understand what God was doing and wondered if He really cared about my situation ... the hours when I couldn't hear His voice and nothing good seemed to be happening, no matter how hard I prayed ... the many nights I cried into my pillow and felt so alone.
But because of those dismal days, I discovered that when we feel the most isolated, forgotten, and abandoned, God is very close to us, nearer than our next breath. Somehow His presence seems the sweetest when we are at our weakest. Sometimes God temporarily leaves us in the dark so that we must trust His love and faithfulness when we can't see the way.
When we're surrounded by darkness, it's easy to let our imagination become our enemy.
Little sounds to which we normally wouldn't pay any attention suddenly seem threatening. I wonder what's going to happen next? But at such times, it's comforting to remember that God is in control in the dark just as He is in the light because "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). 
The apostle Paul experienced abandonment during a dark time. In II Timothy 3:16, he says, "At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me." But then he states, "The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength" (v. 17).
Perhaps you have heard someone say, "I really felt God strengthening me through the prayers of others. It seemed almost as if God was carrying me through that difficult trial."
I Corinthians 1:8 assures us that God will keep us strong to the end so that we will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we keep turning to Him in our weakness, He will uphold us with His strength, which far exceeds any earthly support.
If you are experiencing a time of darkness, take heart. God is with you, and He will soon shine His light on your situation. The psalmist David said, "Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5).
"Father, when we are at our wits' end and You seem to be a million miles away, help us to remember that You are always with us in the darkness."
© by Nancy A. Stevens