Where is God in the Dark Night of the Soul

Jan 25, 2019 | Faith, Hope Beyond the Image, Life

Life gives you images of what it should be like. Heroines live happily ever. Kids are protected from growing up. Instagram mirrors a perfectly poised life.

We seek a pain free life, evidenced by the comfort we seek when fear grips us. Though you naturally stay away from pain, pain doesn’t stay away from you.

A person’s tolerance threshold varies, whether the pain is physical, mental, or emotional. Life experiences are different. None of us can predict how we’ll respond to what’s called “the dark night of the soul”; places where pain is deep, where a dark shadow hovers so completely you see nothing but darkness and void.

It’s not the place of happily ever after.                                                                                                        When you experience the soul’s dark night, you feel God‘s absence. You feel despair and hopelessness, your emotions telling you God is far from you. Even Jesus’ soul cried out in His darkest moment, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

But God never leaves us or forsakes us {Hebrews 13:5}. Pain is real and shouldn’t be minimized, but emotions betray us. God is with us in the pain. Our response is a choice–choosing to believe God is who He says He is even in the darkest moments.T his is faith.

The God of your joy is also the God of your pain.

The God of your confidence is also the God of your questions – questions you have when your circumstances don’t make sense. In your questions, cling to the truth you know about God. A few of the truths I cling to are:

God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness {Exodus 34:5}.

I, the Lord do not change (Micah 3:6).

I don’t know about you, but the colorless winter days and long, dark nights can mirror my emotions. Though I know the Son is present, just above the clouds, I can’t feel Him. My soul feels barren like the frozen ground, covered in ice.

We can’t predict winter moments, when the pain is too deep, the sadness too long, the hope too distant. But we can prepare ahead by realizing life is not a series of happily-ever-afters. God doesn’t promises comfort and ease. He does promise peace in the storms, light in the darkness, and hope in despair.

Where do you find comfort in the dark night of your soul? Knowing God is with you, though you can’t feel him. What feels dead is just dormant, preparing energy to grow.

There might be a spiritual battle warring above you that you cannot see. But the victory in heaven and on earth has already won by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The bridge between dark and night is faith, “Being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you cannot see,” as Hebrews 11:1 says. A few verses later, the writer says, “Without faith, you cannot please God.”

I am learning faith in my dormant season. I challenge you to choose faith, too. You may feel like every leaf has been stripped from you and your branches are naked and bare. But inside, the life giving blood of Jesus Christ flows through you when you have a personal relationship with Him. The Holy Spirit is the hope in you. God is working inside you, storing up energy to bear fruit at just the right time.

Whatever you are going through right now, though your soul may feel dead, it is not. Though the pain is too deep, God is there. He is protecting you in the dormancy. He is shielding you from what the enemy is trying to steal and destroy. Rest in his presence, sheltering you, holding you in the cleft of the rock.

Rest in God’s presence you may not feel. Rest in faith so you have energy and strong roots when the sun breaks through, the cold winter thaws, and it’s time to bear fruit.

Join me,

Lord, thank you for the seasons which mirror life. Thank you for the times in life that are free of struggle, that are beautiful and free. Thank you also for the times that feel cold, grey, and dark because it is here our faith grows. Equip each person who is experiencing a dark night of the soul. Remind them you are there, holding them and protecting them. Increase our faith during this time so we can flourish when the sun bursts through and our pain turns to fruit that glorifies you. Amen. 



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  1. Darlene J Harris

    Great message! Thank you it was very encouraging.

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      Thank you Darlene! I pray you feel God moving through your branches!

  2. Bonnie Pease

    Enjoy your messages, & pics! Thank-you

  3. Dorothy Hostetler

    My greatest joys have always been preceded by a season of deep pain, and mirror your comment “what feels dead is just dormant; preparing its energy to grow”. Joy and pain seem to be related – a topic of current personal reflection.

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      Yes, Dorothy, probably as we are seasoned of live’s joys and struggles we realize how they are inter-related. Having both, ANDS…joy and sorrows, and so many other opposite feelings and experiences.

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