Many of us have experienced them. Great saints experienced them, sometimes for years on end. Those dark nights of the soul when we feel totally numb to the things of God. When the curtain is drawn and we can’t see Him. We can’t hear Him. We can’t sense His presence. We feel as if He has forgotten us or that He never cared at all. We begin to doubt we ever knew Him, if He even exists. The blackness overwhelms us.
I used to work in the operating room. I helped prepare patients for surgery. I prayed with them and helped them move from stretcher to table. I strapped them into place, applied monitors and protective devices. I held their hands as they drifted into a deep sleep, or at least received medication to numb the surgical site.
I stood across from the surgeon and passed instruments and sutures. I reached my hand into a body to help expose a tumor or diseased organ for dissection. I held an amputated limb. I watched a heart beat, stop, and start again as the surgeon completed a delicate and lifesaving procedure. I marveled at the miracle.
I watched a patient open heavy eyes and become once again aware of surroundings, yet unaware of the process of healing that had taken place within.
There are times in our lives that God can do a deep work of healing only when we are totally still. There are cancers that He can remove then because we can’t fight against Him. These are the times when we need to slide over to the altar, give Him our total trust, and rest. Only when we are spiritually anesthetized can He wield His scalpel. And then we awaken rejoicing in His presence, perhaps unaware of what has happened within, but feeling somehow renewed, healed.
So if you are swallowed up in darkness today, dear one, this shall pass. Lie back on the altar. Rest, trust, and let Him do His work. Soon you will feel His hand in yours again and hear Him saying, “You can wake up now. It is finished. You are healed.”
“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” Psalm 103:2-4
Have you experienced, or are you experiencing a dark night of the soul?
Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King