“There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”
I love the movie, ‘The Hiding Place‘ – where the above quote comes from. Corrie Ten Boom was a survivor of the Holocaust – and saw unspeakable things while she and her older sister, both of them women in their 50’s were held prisoner by the Germans. Her sister never lost her faith during that time in the concentration camps – believed, hoped and encouraged others not to become bitter – not to hate. She became ill and died at the hands of the ones who had been so cruel. It was after Corrie was released from prison – due to a clerical error – that she was able to see God‘s purpose and plan for her life – even in that ‘pit’. And she became an ambassador for Christ and His great love and provision for her – to countless millions of people around the world. If anyone knew about the ‘dark night of the soul‘ – it was this lady.
We have all experienced this – a situation that makes us evaluate our lives – and challenges everything we believe in. Most of us have never been in a situation or circumstance like Corrie Ten Boom – but we all have suffered our own degrees of sadness, depression, hurt, frustration, loss and helplessness. We all have longed for peace from strife – knowledge from endless questions and release from hurt and pain.
I’m so glad that I have a relationship with Jesus Christ – and I know for sure there is no place so dark – that His light cannot be seen – no place so deep, that He is not deeper still. I know because I’ve experienced it. I know because I have a story to tell of God’s great love and faithfulness – his hand of protection – and his grace and mercy to me – during a dark time.
Even in those times that seemed so hopeless to me – with no answers – I was not alone.
And I’m thankful that although I didn’t and still don’t understand everything about those hard places that I’ve had to experience – I’ve come to realize that I learned the most valuable lessons in those dark times. In the dark I was finally able to see things I would not have seen while the light shined so bright.
I am told that in a total eclipse of the sun – what is discovered while the sun’s brightness is covered up – is the deadly and dangerous corona which surrounds it and is usually invisible. In the same way there are dangers in my life that can be covered up in the light and are much clearer in a ‘dark’ painful time – where my senses and awareness are heightened. They are sharper and clearer during that time. And I am forced to see them. Giving me true courage to face what I must – turn away things from my life that are not healthy and give me final resolve. As I battle in the dark – I learn much about myself and others who have been there – and sadly those who haven’t. And I discover that it is in fact, not the end.
And like you – I’m still learning. I’m learning that the ‘dark night of the soul’ – is not the end of the world. It’s the place where fear of the unknown and true surrender come together. It is the place where giving up and temptation meet with resignation and strength.
It is a place where I begin:
Letting go – and giving in.
Losing everything I hold
Waving goodbye – and saying hello
Realizing false strength – and true weakness
Gaining much-needed perspective
Being engulfed by heaviness that I cannot lift
And sadness I can taste
A testing of my strength and will – and looking for any light
This, my friends – is the ‘dark night of the soul’. It is surrender.
If you are having a season like this – it’s okay. It will not last forever. And although you may not ever get the answers you need – your heart will one day find the resignation – to the questions. And you will not always feel sad – or hopeless. This dark night may turn out to be your greatest testimony. And your finest moment if you will allow the Savior in. You will find Him ready to meet with you there. And when you look back – you will realize that He carried you. And your faith will never be the same. Someday, you will be able to help someone else – because you will know and understand.
I found a beautiful song by Kate Campbell. If you are experiencing that ‘dark night of the soul’ or have recently experienced it – this song is for you.