Why Is It Sometimes So Dark?

There have been times when I have been plunged into a soul piercing darkness. Every miss-deed, every wrongly spoken word, every good deed left undone, every bad choice, crushed me beneath a heavy weight of conviction.  This darkness of the soul isn't rare, as many of you may attest to, and in fact, I have read of numerous holy men and women who have endured this agony, most recently Mother Teresa. However, knowing it isn't unusual doesn't lessen the pain.

I wonder if this is what Jesus felt on the cross? Except His experience was to the tenth power of my pitiful emotions. This isolation from the world, weighed down with the conviction of so much wrong doing is almost unbearable, and yet, this brief glimpse of despair gives me some insight to those who take extreme measures to stop the pain by taking their own life. Their pain must indeed be horrific. Knowing this much pain without the saving grace of faith is indeed dark despair from which there would be no rescue. If only they knew to reach out, to ask for help with the faith to believe it would be given. 

I am blessed with faith, and faith tells me to hang on because after the night comes the dawn. This heavy burden will lift and I will once again dance in the sunlight, a joyful daughter of a compassionate God, and reason tells me this darkness has been prepped and stoked by fatigue from the rigors of moving, new training at the job, uncertainty regarding my financial future, and unsettling world events. These factors pounced the moment I was vulnerable, when I was too weak to offer a suitable defense. I cannot expel them on my own. I do not need to. I do not need to rely on my strength. I have a heavenly Father with more than enough strength and power to dispel the darkness.

Yet, this darkness does have a purpose, as my reading in Streams in the Desert points out. In order to be a Comforter, you must first endure great sorrow. "You will be wounded so that in the binding up of your wounds by the Great Physician, you may learn how to render first aid to the wounded everywhere." Without experiencing this darkness, I would never know how to offer the Light to others. After all, Jesus suffered first, and through His suffering He fully understands our suffering, as both man and God, and so, I accept my lesson, and I will wait patiently for my healing, which will come.

This morning, Good Morning, Lord, by Joseph T. Sullivan has this:

Good Morning, Lord.
Help me not to look back at my sins-
  you know how many they are!
I know that once I recognize the error,
  correct it and make amends,
  I'm supposed to move on,
  toward better and greater things.
Brooding, feeling sorry for myself, scolding myself
  are unproductive and silly.
They fail to recognize your merciful forgiveness,
  your unmistakable love for me.
Hey! What mistakes? This is a brand new day.
I'm on your side, Lord,
  and you're on mine. Amen.

 
The blackness has lifted. The dawn exploding just beyond the window in our new home is as brilliant as a sunset. Hundreds of ducks and geese are flying overhead, silhouettes against a blue and gold sky. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24.  Amen!

Comments

  1. Amen. Your first paragraph -- about "every misdeed" -- reminds me of Psalm 103:12 "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." It is a blessing to remember that conviction need not be accompanied by condemnation. Thanks for another great read!

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  2. Such a deep and thought provoking post Cecilia. We all have been in that dark place. Our sin nature reserves a place for such things. Our Savior, who is light, dispels all darkness with His countenance. I love "Streams in the Desert" and there is such wisdom in that devotional you quoted. My observation is that when you lie down in darkness, the hope we have is we shall rise in the brightness of His glory eternal.

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  3. Judith, I love that verse from Psalm 103. And you are so right, conviction is not accompanied by condemnation. We have reason to rejoice.

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  4. I so agree, Deborah. We will rise into the brightness of His eternal glory. Faith, it is our faith in Him that sustains us and brings us through. I read "Streams in the Desert" every morning. It never fails to bring a message of comfort and hope.

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  5. So glad that dawn brought hope to you again, Cecelia. 'Streams in the Desert' is a wonderful devotional; one of those you can read time and time again and still glean something new.

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  6. Awesome and said so right, so true, each word I could relate to. This morning it was said in another way in the book I am reading "The Allure of Hope" by Jan Meyer, and she said there is always darkness before the reveal..example, a caterpillar being in the cocoon before he becomes a butterfly

    Blessings as you continue through this journey and see His hand, so you can continue to extend that hope to others

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  7. I agree, Jolina. Streams in the Desert is one of my favorite devotionals. The dawn always follows the night. That is as certain as we have a God in heaven who truly cares about every minute detail of our lives.

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  8. Yes, Janette. We must experience the darkness in order to appreciate the light. It is through these experiences we draw closer to God. I know you too have had your share of struggles recently. May God bless both of us in this coming year.

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