May 26, 2024

Faith, Gratitude and My Dark Alley Friends

Written by Pat Elsberry

Dark alley friends are the ones who stay with you when it’s so dark you can’t see the light.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 26, 2024

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.  Psalm 28:7, ESV

Soon after Melanie died, a friend came by to visit. He brought me a beautiful gratitude journal. It was a lovely gesture, but if I’m being honest, I thought it was an unusual gift to give someone during those early weeks of loss. If I had been one of those cartoon characters on television where a bubble of your thoughts appeared at the top of my head, it would likely have said, “Don’t you know that my daughter just died! A gratitude journal! Really? Gratitude isn’t exactly at the top of my list right now!” Of course, I didn’t say any of those things. Instead, I graciously thanked him for his thoughtfulness and eventually tucked it away.

Well, it’s been a few years since that visit, and one day, while searching for something, I discovered it in the back of a drawer. I could look at it with a fresh set of eyes as I opened it. It reminded me how much I honestly had to be grateful for. Sometimes, it’s hard to see gratitude when you’ve had a crushing blow to the heart.

Seeing that journal was a gentle reminder of how God held me close. He slowly and tenderly took me through those early days when life was so unsteady and brought me to a place where the waves no longer knocked me off my feet. 

If I had written in that gratitude journal, my faith would have been the first thing I would have said I was grateful for. Faith is the first and most important thing that has sustained me. I can now see how God carried me through the valley of the shadow of death. He promised to heal my broken heart, and little by little, I can see how the cracks are being filled in with his healing balm. It hasn’t happened all at once or even quickly. Healing is day by day.

The second thing I’m most grateful for is my dark alley friends who have helped me through an unbelievable loss. Dark alley friends are the ones who stay with you when it’s so dark you can’t see the light. They help sustain you through the darkest seasons of life and are one of the most unique gifts that God gives us. 

Friends, if you’re struggling right now, sit back and take a moment. Let the stillness of the Lord be there with you in this quiet moment. We may not understand why we find ourselves on specific paths in life, but if we wait, I believe we will see the goodness of God light up the dark places of our hearts.

 “Be still and know I am God” (Psalm 46:10).


Jesus, how grateful and thankful I am that you are Lord of my life and my heart. Every step I take I want to take with you, Father. There are not enough words to express how grateful I am for you and the love and care you have for your children.


Do you have a dark alley friend who has been walking with you? Have you seen God’s hand of faith lifting you up from the valley of the shadow of death? Reach out to them and let them know how grateful you are for their presence in your life.

Related Reading

Psalm 100:4-5; Psalm 139:14; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Colossians 3:15-16

Worship Resource

Brandon Lake feat. Natalie Grant: Gratitude/Worthy of it All/You’re Worthy of My Praise


If you are blessed by these daily devotionals please prayerfully consider a donation to support Wisdom Hunters Resources. We are trusting the Lord for His provision.

Learn how to help.

Download our app!


Recent Posts