The dark night of the soul.
Yes, I’ve been there. In those times, I have to concentrate on each breath. Breathe in. Breath out. Put one foot in front of the other. Those moments whittle all of life down to surviving the present moment and then the next and the next. The pain is excruciating. My heart threatens to stop beating for the emotional pain, the exhaustion, wracking my body.
In those dark nights, I chastise myself for not having more faith. If I were a better Christian, a better wife, a better mom, I could handle the pain better. If I were stronger, this wouldn’t be so hard. After all, my night is not a dark as hers or his. So I deny myself the luxury of pain and thus make the darkness even deeper.
Looking back, I see how God brought me through these seasons of hopelessness. I can trace His hand in hindsight.
So I ask, “What if?”
What if our dark seasons were sent by the enemy to harm us?
Maybe he sees where God is leading us and wants to stop it before we became a threat to him. Maybe he just wants to hurt God by attacking another one of His children.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”1 Peter 5:8 NLT
What if God loves to thwart the enemy’s plans by using the dark nights for good?
After all, Satan rejoiced when Jesus died on the cross…but God had planned all along for the Resurrection to make all things right and good!
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” (Joseph to his brothers who sold him into slavery)Genesis 50:20 NLT
What if God allows pain to drive us to our knees?
Sometimes God has great plans for us, but first we must acknowledge how much we need Him. Pain is an effective motivator. It makes us want to seek solutions. It makes us willing to do things we normally wouldn’t.
God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.Mathew 5:3 NLT
What if God uses suffering to trim off sins that hold us back?
When we live in humility, suffering can lead to cleansing repentance. It helps us get rid of sins that hold us back from God’s best.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.Hebrews 12:1 NLT
What if God just wants us to expose our weaknesses so we will depend on Him alone?
Paul was blessed by direct revelations from God. To keep his ministry from being thwarted by pride, God allowed Paul to experience physical suffering.
So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 12:7b-10 NLT
What if the dark night of your soul is the threshold to your new life of victory?
In my experience, the most difficult times in my life have come right before the greatest blessings. Hang on! God will strengthen you to endure until joy comes.
The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”Psalm 91:14-16 NLT
Are you in the middle of a season of despair? Reach out to a friend or to us at Alaska Christian Women’s Ministry.
Have you seen God deliver you from dark times? Share with in the comments below. Let your testimony inspire others.
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