Piercing the Gloom

by Janet Sketchley


After an evening struggling with discouragement, I woke the next morning from a dream about outnumbered soldiers in a battle where miracles were the only thing keeping them safe, where the final defenses were nearly breached but where victory may have happened at the end. And where the stakes were higher than the soldiers’ lives—where God had a higher purpose.

Lying in bed, thinking about my dream, I got a song: the Newsboys’ “Never Surrender, Never Say Die.”

Then my morning reading included this verse:

As soon as I pray, you answer me;
you encourage me by giving me strength.
Psalm 138:3, NLT

Wow… I’d been praying for help, for focus and encouragement. I’d been doing my feeble best to keep my thoughts God-centered in the gloom.

This verse tells me God heard. And He answered as soon as I prayed.

Not that I experienced the answer then, but I wonder how much easier the night would have been if I’d counted the prayer answered as soon as I prayed it—if I’d begun to thank Him for what He was in the process of doing, instead of waiting until I saw for myself.

Encouraged? Yes.

Challenged? Yes.

Thank You, God, and please help me be ready for next time.

Take it to the Lord in prayer

Janet Sketchley

Janet SKetchley 2013

Janet is an east coast Canadian writer working to break into print in novel-length fiction. In the mean time, she writes weekly book reviews, devotionals and features on her blog, ”Tenacity“.



  1. I am going through a very difficulty time in my life due to my children having bad times (marriage breakups and being very negative) and not believing that God can help. Sometimes I can hardly contain myself. Bad thoughts come to my mind. I have prayed and cannot find solice in my life. Prayer has helped me in the past but now there seems to be no end of trouble in my life. Is it that I am too concerned with family members? Please pray for all of us.

    1. Father, You know Ella’s heart and You love her children. You know how it hurts to watch our loved ones hurt. Please meet Ella in a special way today to reassure her of Your love and Your power. Help her hold strong to You even when everything looks dark around her. Help her remember that even the darkness is light to You. Despite the marriage breakups, negativity and pain, please bring something good… something that shows Ella’s children how much You love them and helps them hold onto You. Thank You that You are a strong and faithful God, and You love us. We need You, Lord, and we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  2. I can relate to this post as my sight is getting worse. I tend to walk around my house like a sighted person because I know where everything is. Steps in public places are a problem for me these days. Eating at pot luck lunches is now made difficult because I can’t tell what I’m spooning onto my plate as I once used to do. I used to be in a cultic house church which taught you could get what you wanted from God if you worked up your faith. Now I’m content to know the heavenly Father and wait for whatever he provides me.

    1. Bruce, you’re becoming a literal example of walking by faith, not by sight… I don’t mean that as a joke, but as an illustration to myself and others. You know when you need to rely on outside help instead of relying on yourself. We forget sometimes that our spiritual “sight” isn’t as clear as God’s. And praise God for bringing you to know and rely on Him… that’s contentment indeed!

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