As a child, I feared it. As an adult, it’s still not my favorite thing to walk into.
My dad attempted to calm my fear of darkness by sending me into an unlit yard, explaining there was nothing in the dark that wasn’t there in the light. As an adult, I realize that isn’t always true. Even now when I walk in the darkness, I’m constantly looking behind and ahead of me to make sure no strangers or animals are lurking about.
But there’s another type of darkness, and the psalmist experienced it. You have taken away my companions and loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18 NLT). His was the “dark night of the soul.” A time when loneliness, abandonment, affliction, disease, depression, or even death was near.
Regardless of what my darkness stems from, God hasn’t reneged on his promise to never leave or forsake me. He’s as close to me in the dark periods as he is in the times of plenty—even if I don’t feel his presence as intensely.
Nor do my times of darkness confuse God. I’m often puzzled by what has led to the darkness. Is it something I’ve said or done? Is God simply trying to teach me a lesson?
Through prayer and trust, God helps clear up the confusion.
God also isn’t surprised by my darkness. He knew about it before it arrived, and if it’s not sinful in nature it’s even possible he sent it for my benefit. These series of events either fit his purposes for me at the particular moment or will be formed to fit his plan. Either way, I come out ahead, and the darkness eventually evaporates.
When you’re experiencing a dark night of the soul, trust God’s love and plan for you.
Prayer: Eternal and merciful God, even in our times of darkness, we will trust You for the best.
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