Why does God allow seasons in life where all we seem to sense is darkness? Gone are the days of easily finding His presence and comfort.
Have you been there, my friend?
Are you there right now?
My husband and I have just come out of nine months of unemployment. Our sham of security wrapped up in Rob's job was shattered when his boss called him into his office and told him he could pack up his cubicle and give back his laptop.
It was a beautiful October day - just a year ago - when he called me and asked to have lunch on our side of town. I was thrilled to have this unexpected surprise of my husband's company during the middle of the day. We talked about happy things that were happening in ministry for me. And then he looked at me with a strange smile. He didn't even have to say a word. I said it for us,
You lost your job today, didn't you?
He nodded and stayed silent for a moment.
It was the third lay-off in two years.
That uttered sentence was the launching pad of the dark night of the soul for me. Even though I cried out to the Lord, I did not readily find His comfort. Many days, my prayers seemed to only go as high as the ceiling and crash down around me. My faith was tested in ways I had never dreamed possible. I was faced with my deepest fear other than losing a cherished loved one. How would we survive with no income coming in?
I had an understanding of what I was talking about when I taught this, but my understanding has been profoundly deepened after having gone through the dark night of the soul. The truth of Isaiah 45:2-3 has been realized in my life after having lived through the darkness of unemployment:
I will go before you
and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
I have my own treasure in my possession given to me by my faithful God who does no wrong because of the dark night of the soul. My sweet friend, if you are there, our Jesus is not withholding any good thing from you. He is giving you treasure that no demon in hell can take away from you. Hold on, hold on through the dark night of the soul.
Our Jesus is faithful!