Have you ever gone through a dark night of the soul? This is a term that is commonly used by people to describe a stage where your faith in God seems to be in a crisis. You aren’t sure if He is still there, if He is listening, or if He even likes you anymore.
I have gone through a dark night, and to some extent, I think I am still going through it. It all started about ten years ago when my husband was unemployed, and I told him that I’d be willing to move anywhere that he could find a job. So I ending up leaving the city I had grown up in to move to a small town where I knew no one. I was willing to do it, but it wasn’t easy, and it just kept getting harder. Every time I thought that things were starting to go well, something terrible would happen. Most recently it was a car accident that left me in enough constant pain that, although I’m not technically disabled, my activities are limited. I think I believed that God wasn’t listening because God wasn’t answering my prayers the way that I wanted them answered. Nothing ever seemed to go the way that I wanted it to—not for long anyway.
I wonder if Abraham felt the same way. God promised Abraham when he was 75 that He would make him a great nation. (Genesis 12:1-4) By the time referred to in Romans 4:18-25 Abraham was about 100 years old. Twenty-five years! Do you think that at some point Abraham might have questioned God about His promise? What did you mean God? Am I really going to have a child of my own, who will become a great nation, or did I misunderstand? I believe You are going to fulfill Your promise; I just don’t understand how or when. Perhaps Abraham questioned, or perhaps he didn’t, but two things are sure.
1. Abraham didn’t understand how having a child at his (and Sarah’s) age was possible. (Genesis 17:17)
2. Abraham believed God anyway. (Romans 4:3)
This is why he is credited with having so much faith. I don’t think that faith like that comes naturally; I think it is the result of a conscious decision. When you aren’t sure that you believe God with your heart, believe Him with your head. Look back at what you know to be true about God. Look at what He has done for you in the past, the promises He has kept and the prayers He has answered. Believe that He knows what He is doing and how He is going to do it.
I feel like I’m beginning to come out of my dark night. It is not because things have become any easier, and they still aren’t how I’d prefer them to be, but I’ve begun to change my perspective. Now I pray that God’s will would be done instead of mine. That’s not an easy thing to do, but I know it’s the right thing. I spend more time listening to God now, primarily by reading His word. I believe that His word is true, but I still need to remind myself what it says. That is the reason that I started this blog; I hope that it will help to remind you too.