The Sunday Sermonette August 27, 2023. The days were black, but the nights were blacker. Depression is a dark force, squeezing the light out of a person with its unrelenting tentacles of fear and doubt. For me, the early 90s were dark times. Through a series of bad choices—my choices, no one else’s—my life, as in a dream, was squeezed between joy and guilt, supposed happiness, and the ensuing pain it created. Suicide called my name.

As my life spiraled out of control, many a night, like a caged animal, I roamed through the rooms of my apartment in anxious torment. When the walls of doubt and fear began to crumble around me, I could take it no longer. “Get in the car, Kalberg! Take a long ride.” And that I did. On one of my late-night rambles looking for peace, I discovered a new pier under construction in Bay St. Louis. It thrust itself out into the Gulf, smelling of creosote pilings and fresh-cut timber.

Although the pier was not opened to the public due to its construction, I slipped under the Do Not Enter tape and cautiously walked along the pier, which had no handrails. Reaching the end of it, in depressed exhaustion, I lay down, staring at the sky—no moon, no stars, only a misty fog rolling in. Unable to hold my eyes open, I fell asleep to the sound of the lapping waves against the pilings.

Sometime later, I awoke with a start and realized the fog had blanketed the pier in an impenetrable curtain of billowing fog. I could hardly see the boards on which I sat, much less where the pier ended, and the fog began. “Kalberg! This is not good.” I said to myself. “Get to the car.” But I couldn’t see the car or the shore. Then I saw it. A dim street light at the end of the pier ate its way through the milky fog. “Follow the light,” I thought to myself. And follow it I did, walking safely down the middle of the pier, finally reaching the shore and my car.

Have you ever made bad choices in your life? I certainly have! Have you ever been in a fog on life’s pier with no handrails? Did you ever think that a fog-covered pier might be a test? It’s the tests in life that reveal our true character. Pressure, trouble, mental or physical pain, or the death of someone we love can strip away the thin veneer of our beliefs, our strength and goodness, exposing our shortcomings and the genuine attitude of our hearts. And it’s life’s tests that either point us to or away from God’s guiding light of peace.

Finding peace along the foggy piers of life can be daunting but keeping the “streetlights” in your life—dear family members and dear friends—by your side can help guide your way. Father God is our most trusting streetlight, however—never failing, never going out. He’s always a shining beacon because He is the true light! His mercies never end, and His faithful love is eternal. He is the true light in the foggy nights of fear, doubt, and bad choices.

Ponder this and go forth.

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