The Dark Night of the Soul

EHPF: Session Five: The Dark Night of the Soul from Shawn Lantz on Vimeo.

But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night...'"

Job 35:10

I grew up in Congo on a remote bush mission station. The only running water we had was in the water in the tin bucket in our hand as we ran up the hill from our twenty-acre lake. Nothing happened when I flipped my room light switch on during the day because we had electricity only when the diesel generator was operating for three hours each night. My father would inform us that he was going to turn off the generator as he walked out of our house down to the small building in which it was located. I knew that I had less than ten minutes to get to my bedroom before the entire house was swallowed up in the darkness of the African night. If there was no moon that particular night, the inky blackness was almost impenetrable.

When my soul feels as though it is in the dark, I can panic and feel desperately alone. I wonder, my dear friend, if you have experienced a season when the presence of God seemed like a distant memory or inaccessible to you. Maybe, like Joseph, we are reeling under the injustice of being falsely accused and are having to bear hardship as a result of someone’s negligence or slander. Maybe we are walking through the thick fog of grief over a loss of someone or something cherished by us.

I am convinced, my precious friend, that God does His deepest work in the dark night of our souls, if we will allow Him. If we cling to Jesus, even when we cannot readily see Him in our situation, He will give us songs in the night. These songs are ones which He Himself has taught us - songs that we could not have sung before. We will look back at the trial and be able to thank Him for intimate knowledge about our Christ that we did not and could not possess without the darkness. We will trust Him more. If we hold on to His unchanging character, we will understand more fully that He is good, even when our prayers are not answered in the way we had hoped.

God is big enough for our deepest questions. Only He has the power to change the darkest periods in our lives into treasure that cannot be acquired any other way than through the dark night of the soul.