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Overcoming Despair

The Lord is my light and my salvation; he protects me from danger - whom shall I fear? When evil men come to destroy me, they will stumble and fall! Yes, though a mighty army marches against me, my heart shall know no fear! I am confident that God will save me. Psalm 27:1-3 (TLB)

His life is the light that shines through the darkness - and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:5 (TLB)

Amy Graham lives in Ohio. The year 2016 was filled with several life-changing events for Amy and her husband, the most painful of which was the loss of both of their fathers. They were grief-stricken. However, Amy's husband was largely able to carry out his regular responsibilities. He worked as a pastor and served in leadership roles on various levels within their denomination. As he carried on and continued to work, Amy felt alone, angry, and stuck in her grief.

Even though it is her habit to pray every morning, Amy found it hard to go to God in prayer during this time. One day, Amy decided she had to do something to break herself out of this pattern. She sat quietly and simply said, "Thank you, God." The next day, she thanked God again. With each new day, her time with God grew longer, as did her list of thanks and praise. Each time Amy expressed gratitude to God, she felt like light was breaking through the darkness that surrounded her. As her spirit of thanksgiving grew, God's light overcame her despair.

These months of grief, anger, and prayer taught Amy that God is always there, even in our darkest times. Honoring our Creator with our gratitude reminds us of God's ever-present light and love.

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for your abiding presence. Help us to see your light in seasons that feel cloaked in darkness, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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