At once the Spirit forced Jesus out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan.
Our love for God grows and deepens when we keep the faith during dark times. When we begin our journey with Christ, we often feel faithful, hopeful, zealous. Do you remember those days? Jesus feels real and close and near. You feel like you are on honeymoon with God.
Then one day God’s absence replaces God’s presence. This shift is not caused by depression or by despair, and it’s not necessarily because you have done anything wrong. It’s like something else is going on, as if God is removing a superficial sense of the Divine presence to allow for something deeper to take place in your life.
My spiritual director used to say to me, “Trevor, sometimes God stands at the door of the room of your life and places a hand on the light switch and dims it a bit. Then in the darkness God whispers, ‘Will you learn to trust me in the dark? Will you love me even when you don’t feel my presence?’” In these moments of darkness, I have found a certain practice very helpful. I have what I call a love-word for God that I carry in my heart and repeat when I am in the dark.
Often when God feels far away, I say this word to God with all the faith and hope and love in my heart. It has the effect of keeping me consciously connected to God’s loving presence even when I do not feel it.
Lord, sometimes I feel you are far away and that I am alone. Please help me to trust you during these dark moments. Amen.
In your current situation, are you experiencing a time of light or a time of darkness?
Credits: *From invitations of Jesus by Trevor Hudson. Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
This and the other devotionals for this Lenten Series can be found at the following link: http://www.thegodwecanknow.com/category/50-devotions/page/3/