Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I've not had a 'dark night of the soul' since 1994.
You know, those times when--with your head--you remember that God said, "I'll never leave you nor forsake you," and yet He feels far, far away. Or hiding behind walls in other rooms, never sitting with His arm around your shoulders anymore. And times when a quiet desperation has replaced your joy and life feels, if not dark, then very grey and not nearly as lovely.
But before 1994, I experienced not only dark nights of the soul, but--sometimes-- dark months of the soul. I took the whole dark night thing to an art form. Again, sometimes.
The difference? In 1994 I fell in love with Jesus. Passionately, and so much so that I couldn't live without His presence for even one minute. I stopped running to friends, books and old sayings first for companionship and help, and instead, I ran to God.
I began asking Him to show me where I'd gone wrong (that was huge). And I finally allowed Him to make the myriad changes in me which He'd longed to make since I accepted Him at age 11.
I handed Him the steering wheel and finally let Him drive us around rather than always doing the driving, myself (and running us into ditches).
How sad that I once believed God was into the whole dark night of the soul thing. That He thought it up and believed it to be a good idea. Ha! What is actually God's idea? This:
"The joy of the Lord is my strength."
That's His idea. His plan is for His joy to keep me strong and able to do whatever He asks. And He's certainly not called me to sit in shadows, all despondent for weeks, whispering, "God understands that I'm just a poor ol', sad, pathetic mess."
What God understands is that He's given me joy so I can then reach out to others who need His help. He has jobs for me to do. He has plans for me, ones for good and not for evil.
And He has enough love, joy, strength and companionship to fill my heart full every single day of the rest of my life.
"Sin separates... confess your sins................go and sin no more........."
In His presence is fullness of joy... and it's in His presence where I want to 'live and move and have my being' hour by hour.