Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

September 21, 2021: My Darkest Hour

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us’” (1 Sam. 7:12, NKJV).

From age 7, this was my favorite Bible verse, never knowing how it would carry me through the darkest period of my life, when a trusted friend and colleague tried to destroy me as a pastor with false allegations.

In this dark crisis, I felt as if I was suffocating. Oxygen seemed to seep from my lungs. Moment after moment seemed to go by slower and slower. Time stood still and became an enemy. Insomnia was my new reality, as sleep fled from me. Thus, daily I became more fatigued, as my life was drained from me. There are not many things in life that are so vicious and destructive to one’s emotions and well-being as the anxiety and stress within and after trauma.

Even though I sought medical and professional help and was supported by family and friends, it was God who brought me through this deep and painful valley. I clung to the promise that “thus far the Lord has helped us,” and He would not forsake me now. He helped me in the past; therefore, he would help me in the present, no matter how dark it was. This imbued me with hope, in that, even if the future seemed dim, God would help me.

I can testify that God kept His Word! He helped me, and today I can help others going through similar trauma.

Father God, thank You for promising that, as You have helped me in the past, You will help me in the present and future. Amen.

Reinhardt Stander is the pastor of the Williamsport church in Maryland.