Getting closer to her heavenly Father helps a teen through hard times.
Is your life messed up? Mine is. I don’t have a real reason to be stressed. My Christian parents are married and plan to be forever. Although we aren’t rich, we are comfortable. I’m not bullied at school, and I am active in my church. I even read my Bible every night before bed. I don’t have any reason to be unhappy, do I?
I am, though. I can be so unhappy and depressed. Sometimes I am just a weepy mess. I curl up in a ball and sob. I feel like I’m falling into a dark hole. I feel alone, angry, worried, embarrassed by the past, and scared of the future. Sometimes I don’t even know what I feel.
One day a friend showed me a nightly devotion she did. She would read a chapter of the Bible, then pick a favorite verse from the chapter. I thought it was neat, but I was already doing my own Bible readings and didn’t feel like I needed it. Then later, when I was going through a particularly stressful time, I decided to give it a try.
I started reading 1 Samuel. At first I just read the chapter, picked a favorite verse, and wrote it down in a journal. It wasn’t difficult. I found some good verses, such as 1 Samuel 2:2: “There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”
But then it got harder. How was I supposed to pick a verse from chapter 4, which tells of the ark of the Lord’s covenant being captured by the Philistines, or chapter 8, which tells how the Israelites wanted a king? I had to pick unusual verses.
These verses sounded even more unusual written in my journal out of context. To clear things up, I wrote a few sentences about why I chose the verse. Before long, these explanations had turned into page-and-a-half Bible studies.
I always wrote as if I was explaining the passage to someone else, even though I was the only one who ever touched my journal. But I began to see the explanations were really helping me. Explaining the verses forced me to dig into the Bible. Sometimes after I was done with my devotion, I realized that I had just resolved the very issue that was making me upset that day. The message I got out of the verse hit home and was exactly what I needed.
I have kept up with these nightly Bible studies. It can be tempting to just go to bed after a tiring day, but I know how calming and comforting reading the Bible can be. Even on the good days, I still feel much better after my devotion than I did before it.
I only recently found my way. It was getting closer to God, studying his Word, and learning that he really is my friend and my heavenly Father who loves me. I encourage you to do the same. Get close to God.
Your life won’t be perfect. Mine certainly isn’t. Just remember: “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Author: Elizabeth Hahm
Volume 103, Number 2
Issue: February 2016