“Yet I am not silenced by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face.”
-Job 23:17, NIV
This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible, though I don’t usually mention it to those who ask. Maybe it’s my own bias, but I figure if you’re asking me my favorite Bible verse, I’m not ready to shock you with this one.
Job’s got it rough, man. This chapter, he’s really low. He wants to come straight up to God and tell him what’s what, but he can’t find God. He’s nowhere that Job can see. Even in his frustration, Job recognizes the sovereignty of God, though at this moment, there is no comfort in God’s sovereignty. Instead, it inspires terror.
But Job is a stubborn guy, and he ends the chapter with this sentence. He’s not going to give up. He’s going to plead his case before God, even if it scares him, because he wants the chance for answers, even if there aren’t any that are satisfying.
This verse found me during a very dark time in my life. I felt like I was in the dark, a suffocating blackness that threatened to snuff out any enjoyment of this life. I was stuck and broken and choking. But when I read Job’s words, I took them for myself. I took them and said, “Yes, I am depressed and hopeless, with no noticeable way out. But I will not let it silence me.” I wouldn’t let the fear, the clouds, the smoke take the thing that I knew would save me in the end – words. Words are where I find God, and where He finds me, so I knew if I kept writing, kept communicating in the only way I knew how, that I would find my way back to the light.
It worked. Not saying I haven’t fallen down and let that cloud overtake me, but I cling to this verse. I won’t be silenced by the darkness.