A Dark Night of the Soul

Reading: Psalm 42:5-11

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5 NIV


Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

A few years ago, I had an experience that some call ‘a dark night of the soul.’

The doctor told me it was a case of mild clinical depression. A friend who is a professional counselor told me that depression and burnout are common with some Christian workers who have been in the ministry for a long time. She helped me understand some of the things I was going through. I had tried to follow the advice of the doctor and the counselor – supplements, a little sunshine, and physical exercise.  I also did the spiritual routine – prayed and read the Bible and went to church. Little by little I made some progress. However, I was still struggling to feel the presence of the Lord. In the past, when I prayed and spent time in worship, I felt almost tangibly the sweet presence of the Lord. I got concerned I had lost the feeling. I used to know where and what I was supposed to do (or life’s goals and purpose). I got concerned that I lost my way. I didn’t think I lost my faith. I knew God was there and I knew He still loved me. But why couldn’t I feel His presence? I felt that I had no hope and no future. I wanted to get out of depression, but the more I tried the more I felt like I was sinking. Even though I was feeling low, every day I looked at the words that I had posted on my bedroom wall then. The words I wrote on a piece of paper and posted on the wall were, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” (NIV)
 

After a few months, while I was praying and worshipping, I felt God reminding me of His words, “For we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Then, I sensed Him saying to me, “I am always near and here for you. Because you have allowed grief and sorrow to come between us, you could not feel nor see Me”.

Image by Barbara Jackson from Pixabay

Since then, I have learned to live by faith and not by feelings. And, with God’s help, I am continually learning to trust God’s Words and rely on His steadfast love.

Reflection: I could always trust God’s word, that He loves me and is always with me no matter what I feel. 

Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank You that Your love is always with me no matter what I feel.

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