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Listen while you read: "One Day"1 (Lyrics)
Job 23:8-9 – I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed. (NLT)
Feelings don't always mirror reality.
Frank had hit bottom. He couldn't imagine losing any more than he had already lost. His roller-coaster ride began with his wife's confession of unfaithfulness. He'd had his suspicions, and he had noticed people at church whispering. But he was a trusting guy and had promised to love her for better or for worse. But now, he knew for sure. She didn't love him and wanted a divorce.
Had Frank worked a regular job, his wife's leaving probably wouldn't have mattered. His chosen profession was different. His denomination didn't look favourably on divorced leaders. When he shared his news with the church elders, they suggested that he resign. Since he and his family lived in a church-owned home, he knew what that meant.
Hearing his wife confess unfaithfulness was only the beginning. Over the next few years, Frank experienced numerous fallouts. He lost his retirement savings, withdrawing it to pay bills. He had to take a job where he made one-third of what he had been making — which meant that some bills went unpaid and were turned over to collection agencies. Finally, he was left alone after his daughter left for college and his son decided that he wanted to live with his mom.
Frank never imagined that he'd have to face such dire straits during his lifetime, but one thing that he never forgot was that God hadn't left him. Regardless of how he felt — and he often experienced that "dark night of the soul" — his faith reminded him that God was near.
Like Frank, I've experienced some "dark nights of the soul" — times when God felt distant and unconcerned. Job experienced the same. He lost almost all that a person could lose — and God allowed it. Satan needed proof that Job wasn't merely following God because of God's blessings.
When you experience your "dark night of the soul", remember that God hasn't left you. He promises never to leave nor forsake us. Remember that His character hasn't changed. He knows all that you are going through and is controlling the intensity and time length. Remember His unconditional love, allowing us to experience valleys that lead to spiritual growth, not detriment. Remember His power. With a spoken word, He can end your cloudy days — and will, at just the right time.
When we feel that God has left us in the darkest valley, let's remember that feelings don't always mirror reality.
Prayer: Father, thank You for never leaving us when we are experiencing our "dark nights of the soul". Amen.