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THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL

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A TO UCH OF EN COURAGEMENT from Mar tha williams on The Dark Night of the Soul Someone shared with me a story of an Indian legend. I don’t know if it is a true Native American legend but it is an interesting lesson about God’s love for us.

A father takes his son into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a rock for the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shines through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a man. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience because each one must come into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some humans might try to do him harm. The wind blows and the earth shakes the rock but he sits stoically never removing the blindfolds. It would be the only way he could become a man.

Finally after a horrific night the sun appears and he removes his blindfold and it is then that he discovers his father sitting on the rock next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. Well obviously the father in the story is intended to represent God and his faithful care and ever present love for his children. And I imagine, the young man represents each one of us. The child who God watches over and protects as we walk through this life, hoping to survive the terrors of the night, challenged to outlast the darkness and wait patiently for the sunrise. When the sun arrives, we discover we haven’t been alone at all but God had been watching our back all along. It is a well-intentioned story but not a perfect analogy.

I don’t see God’s children walking blindly through life only to pull the blindfold off at the end and be surprised that God was always with them, guarding and protecting. I think the reason the children of God get through the darkness and come into the light is because they have known all along God was with them. Knowing that God exists and that He loves me and walks with me through life’s hardest trials is what gets me through the dark night. Knowing when I step into the light he will still be there is what gives me hope.

Knowing I don’t have to pass a test to become all I canbecome, that Jesus already took that test for me and passed it for me, is what gives me courage to carry on. Perhaps the story is meant to teach us that in those times when things get so tough and imagining God during those situations seems almost impossible, it doesn’t mean he is not there. Whatever the intentions of this legend, there is one certain truth to be found; even in the darkest midnight of your soul when you can’t see God, never forget, He can see you!

Source: Martha Williamson, atouchofencouragement.com

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