Trusting Through Darkness

An excerpt from my book, Filled Up, Poured Out:  How God's Spirit Can Revive Your Passion and Purpose:
Sometimes, for unknown reasons, God seems distant and far removed from current reality. In fact, some of God’s most treasured and dutiful saints are plagued with what St. John of the Cross called the dark night of the soul.
For instance, letters from Mother Teresa to her superiors, published a decade after her death, revealed an inner struggle to feel God’s blessing and presence. “There is so much contradiction in my soul,” she lamented. “No faith—no love—no zeal . . . I find no words to express my pain.”  Martin Luther often battled with what he called anfechtungen, a conflicted spiritual state, where God’s absence seems greater than his presence, and his love appears somewhat questionable. The desert monks referred to acedia, the dreaded “noonday demon,” that describes a deep soul weariness and the serious malady of being unable to care.14 Charles Spurgeon warned young preachers of “the minister’s fainting fits,” where all seems lost in the valley of despair.  From the cross, even Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46).
Yet, in his perceived absence, God is ever present.
A university philosophy professor wrote “God is nowhere” on the whiteboard. After class, one of the students grabbed a marker and drew a line between the w and the h, so the board said, “God is now / here.”
When you feel like God is nowhere, rest assured, he is now here. The river is still there. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). Seek the Lord with all your heart, and you will find him.
But, if he doesn’t seem to show up for some reason, then trust him with all your heart in the dark. “Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God” (Isa. 50:10). If you keep on trusting through the darkness, he will bring you to the light.


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