Dark Night Of The Soul
It remains a mystery to me how one person seems to stroll through life as through a beautiful sunlit meadow on a warm Summer’s day while another’s life seems nearly all Winter with its cold, dark barrenness. One thing I know…everyone does not get the same breaks in life. It’s what we do with what we have that is so important really.
I’ve told you about my brother’s recent death. I’ve staggered under my feelings of loss. Gracious Father God has sustained my faith…given me strength equal to each day’s tasks…provided comfort as I have wept in quiet, alone times…offered courage in the face of approaching fears. He has done this Himself…by remaining with me…not leaving me alone. He has done this through His reliable and powerful Word. He has done this through my blessed family. And He has done this through your faithful ministry towards me in your concern, your kind words, your prayers and, even, your tears. Do you begin to know what this means to me? I thank you. I praise Him. And I praise Him for gifting me with such caring people.
My brother wanted to love God and to feel God’s love for him. But he didn’t get the direction or the result he was looking for in this life. It’s not that he didn’t seek it…it’s that he could’t receive it. It’s not that it wasn’t available…it’s that he couldn’t get a firm grasp of it…couldn’t get it worked out in his own mind and heart in a way that enabled him to hang on to this rich truth so that he could really rely on it. But my, how he wanted it.
If my brother’s faith was feeble, it was nevertheless real. And, it just may be, that his faith was much stronger than any of us realized. Which do you think requires more faith…to serve God with a heart full of peace, joy and gratitude, and with strong spiritual relationships that support you so well along the way…or to be unable to say a final farewell to faith even though your heart aches with pain and doubt and insecurities.
Which takes more faith…to teach a lost sinner about Christ and get to celebrate his/her homecoming in baptism (which is a truly wondrous thing)…or to refuse to take your own life when, for you, there seems no light at all at the end of the tunnel…when pain is your constant companion after many years of seeking medical help…and when there’s no beloved waiting at home to welcome you and support you in your long and difficult struggle.
What do you think? Where’s the real faith? One thing I know…there’s One…and only One…Who’s capable of seeing the whole of our lives…not only the deeds we do but the motives that drive us…not only our sins and failures, but how long we struggled to do right before we gave in…not only what we didn’t get done but what we would have done if we could have. For my part, I will trust to the One Righteous Judge.
In the days ahead, my remaining sister, Gail, and my brother, Allen, and I will be walking across the sands of time and we will at times stoop to pick up some grains of memories and another cold wave of grief will sweep over us and send us back to our tears. But we won’t weep as those who have no hope. No! We won’t!
If Father God is bringing or has brought you through a dark, dark night, maybe you could share it here with us. Give Him some glory and lift our hearts. I love you. God will get us through!