What to do When Days Are Dark

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Encouragement, Faith, Focus, Scripture, Trials, Trusting God 9 Comments

When Days Are Dark

I was in Illinois. My husband was in North Carolina. I am usually the video girl, but Brad stepped up to film our daughter’s volleyball tournament since I couldn’t be there.

I had shown him how to operate the camera and how to set up the tripod. He had filmed several matches before and had done a great job, so I was surprised when I got his phone call.

HIM: Honey! The match is about to start, but the camera is telling me that it is too dark to record. I’m not sure what to do. Got any ideas?

ME: This is just a guess, but I think you might need to take the lens cap off.

HIM: {Laughing} Oh my. Okay. Yeah. Let’s pretend this conversation never happened and just keep it between you and me.

ME: {Laughing} Ha! Nice try. Not gonna happen.

We laughed and laughed. He went on to film the game with lighting that was just fine. I went on to speak and lead worship at the women’s conference. Later, as I thought about the camera lens snafu it occurred to me that the same advice translates well to spiritual life.

When days are dark and my circumstances are complicated, the lens cap needs to be removed from my heart.

When ways are dark and I can’t see which direction to go, the lens cap needs to be removed from my soul.

When thoughts are dark and emotions or rebellion have me blinded, the lens cap needs to be removed from my mind.

Darkness is a very real problem, you know. I live in the shadows of darkness when I allow worry, anxiety, circumstances and feelings to tie my heart in knots, or when I sidestep the instructions of God’s Words to accommodate my own plans, pursuits and passions. The lens cap of darkness can be my will, pride, stubbornness, arrogance, anger, ignorance, fears, failures, insecurities, rebellion, doubts, or bitterness.

The lens cap is my humanity.

My heart, mind, and soul… the very core of all that I am must be open to Jesus, the Light of the World, or my days, ways, and thoughts remain in darkness. The very core of all that I am must be open to His leading, His grace, His power, His comfort, His wisdom, His correction, His forgiveness, and His love – or I will continue to struggle in the shadows. If I try to see and reason and respond without Jesus there is only darkness and dim.

faith focus

Do you ever struggle to see in the shadows of your days, ways, and thoughts? I sure do. So I turn to the Bible to gain divine insight on how to remove the lens cap of darkness. And as I read I find a few simple reminders that help position my heart, mind, and soul in the goodness of God’s light.

#1. PRAY … as the psalmist did for the Lord to open our eyes and lead us in His truth and understanding.

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” (Psalm 119:18)

“Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 119:27)

#2. YIELD … When we surrender our ways to God’s ways, we step out from the shadows and into the light.

“Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” (Psalm 119:33-37)

“Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11)

#3. STAND FIRM … Be determined. Make a decision to stand in the light and strength of God. Remember that you are not alone. Remember that you are never limited to your own resources, but instead that you have access to the storehouses of heaven. Darkness must yield to light. Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12) and He has called us to be that light too (Matthew 5:14).

“I hold fast to your statutes, Lord; do not let me be put to shame.” (Psalm 119:31)

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8)

“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” (Psalm 62:1-2)

Pray. Yield. Stand Firm.

Faith into Focus

As we do these three things, the dim lens caps of our human limitations are removed and we gain a fresh and clear view of our days, ways and thoughts through the power of the Spirit of God that is alive and active within us.


Dear Lord, Thank You for Your Word that leads me in all truth and grace. Please flood my heart with Your light so that I can see beyond the dark. Help me to understand and embrace the confident hope that You have called me to live with in Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.


What are the lens caps in your life today?

How can the three steps in today’s post help you to see beyond the darkness of them?

LEAVE A COMMENT on my blog wall. I’m curious to see where you are with this.

Praying for you today, friend. Thanks for doing life with me,



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Comments 9

  1. I, Thank God, for this devotional and the newest one, When Grief Runs Deep…I really needed this one because I am in a very deep hole….deeper than I have ever been before. Usually, I can come up and out of it. But, this time is harder than ever before. I can related to Deb Dede’s comment. I don’t desire to do anything. The Bible tells us, Hope deferred makes the heart sick and my heart is vary sick. I am 67 years of age and all those years I had plans….nothing seems to have worked out the way I had planned or poured myself into. I need, Help, Oh Lord! Actually, I can relate to all the ladies who have commented. I hate they are going through this but it does help to know I am not the only one who is dealing with this Black, Deep, Dark Hole. I, too, don’t feel the presence of God….very hard place to be. But, He says, He will never leave us or forsake us and He is not a man that he should lie. I need a light to turn on in my spiritual mind, so to speak.

  2. After retirement at the end of September and a honeymoon period of “I love this freedom”, things are settling down to reality with me. Am I doomed to be a stay at home housemaid, cook and support for my partner? Now none of this seems to excite me. Who put the lens cap on my camera???? Me of course. Going into retirement…I was going to get into my relationship with my Lord by bible study and readings daily. That somehow has lost it’s appeal and I am disappointed in myself. I think I am resigning to a rut in my life. I need to keep that lens cap off and see the lovely picture I had in my mind about my future! Through prayer and meetings with my Lord ….I know I can do it!!!

  3. Thank you Gwen, I read this a couple times in the last few days. I do struggle with this darkness, the covering, making me feel much like JoEllen down a few posts. Like, I have a Christian family for the most part, and a very supportive church. I try to keep up my times with God but fail all the time. I feel like my faith should be stronger. Sometimes I feel like I don’t really feel God, see him, know how to talk to him. I have to write out my prayers so I can say what I want. I want to be free from darkness and distance feel. God loves me, may I truly know that love for me.
    Open my eyes Lord to the love and grace and freedom you have for me, already waiting for me just to stop questioning if I know you, and claim it. Make me meditate and think of you more prominently so that others can see a difference in my life. Show me what might be in the way. What is that lens cap that is blocking the light in my life. Help me deal with it, and remove it. Then I will stand in your strength and claim your righteousness and love. May I know the love you have for me, and the unsearchable greatness of who you are. You are my God, my savior, and I want to stand firm in you.

  4. This was a real blessing for me to read. It puts into visual words something I knew and could see with some of my loved ones who I know have Jesus into their hearts but are so mean and hurtful in the way they treat people. They are saved but because they don’t spend time in the word and in prayer, talking to Jesus their lens caps are still on spiritually speaking so they haven’t changed their pre-Jesus behaviors. I just loved this so much!!! God Bless Gwen and plus I have done the lens still on the camera thing LOL

  5. I have also started to take a photograph and seen darkness. This reminded me is that when the lens cap comes off, the light is instantaneous. We take off the thing, what ever that may be, a lens cap or denial of our situation, or a temptation, and God’s light is there. It will fill out space and show us the way out of the darkness that was surrounding us.
    Thank you, Gwen, you always seem to know what we need to hear and be reminded of.. Blessings

  6. As a believer, and a person who is highly blessed with a large supportive family, I find it so difficult to admit to struggles with “darkness” and depression. Nevertheless, I find myself there often. It is like being attacked by the enemy and a vicious cycle. When you have doubts and your faith seems challenged, you feel guilty that you are not stronger with God at your side and this often makes it worse. I feel that as a Christian, I should be a pillar of strength and full of joy. I am praying constantly about this.

  7. I’m battling severe depression and anxiety..I’ve fought it alone most of my life. Now, I have finally become able to admit I can’t do it by myself, I have to have help. So with the love and support of my 3 beautiful daughters and my family doctor, they are making appointments and taking me to them. It’s scary, just one session so far..more to come, more doctors too…but I do want to get well.

    I want to be the person God put me here to be. I can’t be His tool if I can’t be filled with His JOY to share!

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