There is a “luxury” that you lose in your Christian walk when you endure the “dark night of your soul.”
You are no longer able to stomach things such as the Prosperity Gospel, pat-Christianese answers, or the over-spiritualizing of everything.
These perceptions will actually begin to make you physically ill as they test your levels of patience and mercy for others.
The Prosperity Gospel suggests that if you had just believed, obeyed, or given enough, then your days would not be so dim. If you listen to Prosperity, it will tell you that it’s your fault.
The pat-Christianese answers are internalized as lazy, blanket statements meant to shush the uncomfortable doubt your pain arises in another: (“God is good. You shouldn’t be sad. Here’s a line, verse, song that proves that. Now shhh…) They minimize and tell you to get over yourself.
The over-spiritualizing is interesting because it seeks to enter into the journey with you, but it jumps at every plant and calls it a “burning bush”. Everything is a sign. Hopes are raised, and then disappointment follows when it just turned out to be another shrub. The over-spiritual confuses you until you can no longer discern between God’s Voice, and the many, many competing ones surrounding you.
All three of these have the potential to lead you into the same experience of disillusionment. They aren’t only obnoxious; they are downright dangerous to your faith.
Many a well-intending friend has walked in the shoes of Job’s crew. My goal is not to lash out at those who have misspoken, but rather to expose these false paths for what they are.
Even still, God remains Truth and is steady in His faithfulness. He will allow us to listen to these noxious words if we are so inclined, if only to enlarge our understanding of the fullness of the true Gospel.
Pain and heartache is a respecter of no man. It will visit each of our doors at some point in our journey. Our pain matters deeply to Him, and yes, in a sense we do need to get over ourselves, but let me explain what I mean by that:
We need to let go of the burden we put on ourselves, that says the pain is ours to carry. That it’s even about us. It’s not. It’s for His glory. All of it.
We may never know the “why” this side of heaven, and we don’t need to know the “why” in order to heal. We do not need to understand before we can stand.
He is in control. He is Sovereign.
We don’t have to wrap our pain up in a pretty package and put a bow on top of it in order to be faithful to our Lord.
And then there’s this-
Sometimes God is silent, His answer is “no,” and there are no burning bushes.
Sometimes, the burning bush is the flicker of faith that still believes, even while the darkness screams, “There is no light!”
Faith in times of darkness and despair is nothing short of miraculous.
It is the hope of Christ that dwells within, that says, “even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” (Psalm 139:12). Anything else only cheapens the very foundation of the Christian faith.
So, while yes, during this season there is a loss of this luxury of false control, the reward of walking in the Truth is far, far greater. It will all be worth it in the end.
Spring is coming!