This has been a particularly difficult season for me personally. There have been dark and weary days. Days that seemed to stretch into weeks and months with no hope and no word. God seemed silent and the darkness was oppressive. I sought desperately for a word to lighten the gloom and ease the burden. But only silence met my straining ears.
Have you walked through a season of spiritual drought? It's like God doesn't seem to hear your prayers and questions. This period can be particularly disheartening, and lonely.
Yet slowly I'm beginning to learn that I have not been abandoned. God is teaching me to accustom my eyes to the darkness. And in that vast, gloomy silence I have found, to my joy, that He is there.
“The Lord said that He would dwell in the thick darkness” (1 Kings 8:12 KJV).
What an amazing assurance to have!
“Who among you fears the Lord? . . . Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God" (Isaiah 50:10).
“I will bring the blind by a way they did not know . . . I will make darkness light before them . . . These things I will do for them and not forsake them” (Isaiah 42:16).
These verses have encouraged me and shown me that the Lord is with me, and He is speaking to me. His love enfolds me, reminding me that having Him is all I ever need. I am learning to trust Him and walk by faith, holding His hand in the darkness, remembering that He has never once left my side.
I wanted to share some snippets of poetry with you. These have comforted me and worked as a balm on my soul. I pray that they will bless you, too.
The following have been taken from Ruth Bell Graham's Collected Poems.
Lord, when my soul is weary
and my heart is tired and sore,
and I have that failing feeling
that I can't take any more;
then let me know the freshening
found in simple, childlike prayer,
when the kneeling soul knows surely
that a listening Lord is there.
Pray, when gray inertia
creeps through your soul,
as through a man
who fights the cold, . . .
Pray, when swamped
with sin and shame
and nowhere else
to pin the blame
but your own will
God knows you,
loves you nonetheless.
So . . . pray.
I pray - but nothing comes out right,
my thoughts go flying everywhere;
my attitudes are all confused
. . . I cannot read. I cannot pray.
I cannot even think.
Where to from here? And how get there
with only darkness everywhere?
I ought to rise and only sink . . .
and feel His arms, and hear Him say,
“I love you.” . . . It was all my soul
or body needed to be whole.
The growing darkness closes in
like some thick fog,
engulfing me -
. . . till I learned,
“the darkness hideth not
. . . As in a darkened room
one knows –
knows without sight –
so, in the darkness,
sure I knew
and the cold despair,
formless and chaotic, merged
to a soft glory;
as a child
terrified by dark,
within his mother's arms,
fears shall torment,
my weakness now.
The dark – the dark –
surrounds me still.
But so dost Thou!
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