Not many years ago I spent nearly a year held within the black landscapes of doubt and uncertainty. My soul was troubled unlike anything I had ever experienced before and it drove me towards shattering my past before I was allowed to reform/reframe my future. Most curiously was the journey itself in that I didn't mind being in this troubling stage of destruction. I knew it needed to be done. And it needed to be quite thorough. But nor did I go on a "binger" and freak out during this time. I still was a husband and a dad and worker and lay minister with community responsibilities. But underneath to the observing eye there were dark waters and warring storms crashing across my soul.
Worse still was this strong feeling of God's absence. How ironic I thought! How could that be? Because even though there was this deep sense of abandonment of God's Spirit still I knew God was there. Hearing my laments. Knowing the troubles demanding my soul. But perhaps this was Job's experience too. Or, the Psalmist David's. Or really, any of those prophets of the bible who needed to be stretched out and laid bare before God from all the beggardly conformities of this tempestuous life.
And so I tarried in this dark land of shattered dreams, unknowing, and personal removal. What I was ,and where I was, before this occurred turned significantly afterwards to what, and where, I am now, today. It was unplanned. It was deeply surprising and unnerving. But it was also necessary. And it wasn't a place I wanted to leave or abandon while going through this dark, soul-searching time. Why? For some reason it dawned upon me that God needed to have His way with me during this time and that I shouldn't quit it lest it be undone or incomplete. And so I stayed and waited for a redemption to come in the days of my reforming.
I knew too that my God would never leave me. But as well that I must fundamentally leave my past to follow Him. And so, it was a spiritually dark time. Nearly oppressive in many ways. And without anyone who would or could help though I tried to speak of my travail several times to unhearing ears. Still, there was silence. From God. And from man. But as this darkness persisted through most of a year I began to hear the Spirit's words in my heart and my mind more plainly than I had ever heard Him before. More surprisingly was the movement of God's Spirit upon me to write of Him in fundamentally new ways that freed my soul to do the task laid out before me; and later would go on to bless many others seeking healing, inspiration, or reconstitution.
And lest you think this is a rare occurrence let me share a video below which gives but a small glimpse of the agony a believer can go through when pressed of God into a new service, a new change of living, a new burden. But know also we are never forsaken of God though it feels for a time we are. Mine lasted most of a year. Now that is a long time. And certainly it was troubling to my soul. Foundationally troubling. Here was were doubt and uncertainly lived. Lands I had previously embraced, but now in fundamentally new ways of acceptance (and joy). Even so, though I felt abandoned by God I knew God was with me as He is with all of us at all times though we feel it not at times in life. At least that was my experience knowing God's assurance never left me even though heaven's brass ceilings echoed my laments back only to myself with no one - not even the Divine - seemingly hearing.
But morning eventually came and when it did I then understood the value of God's silence. For it was in the wilderness of my despair that He ministered to me across a land of hard rocks and desert heats. Through anguishingly empty spaces and formidable obstacles I would encounter in my (unwanted) journey into the divine whose fire burned all that remained within me. And it was there that faith returned and grew strong again in the bad lands of evil and lostness. That a divine compass was re-ignited to guide me again. That nourishing manna was provided to heal the soul. And cold waters would flow from the fissures of the earth opening up in their time.
And so it was enough. And the long days of despair in wilderness living were left behind and in its place, as I looked back, were discovered scattered memorials to God's faithfulness supplying His grace and wisdom in the desert places of my soul though I saw it not at the time. And with it a new direction that might guide me through the end of my days. And perhaps guide a host of other penitents living out their own wretched miseries and afflictions like as I. At least this is my prayer of healing restoration to the ones who weep in the night seeking guidance upon their knees. Whose speak words of lament to questions, angers, or disappointments without answer heard only upon the blowing wind. But know this, there is a mighty wind of the Spirit who bears and hears all who blows across the desperate reaches of our soul.
July 20, 2016
Doubt is Real - I Pray This Blesses Someone in Jesus name
Category: Christian Hip Hop