God is there even when we can’t feel Him.
One of the most influential people in our time was Mother Theresa. Yet she experienced what many researchers have coined, “the dark night of the soul.” The concept was one that left Mother Theresa feeling like God had abandoned her, as if He wasn’t near to her anymore. She couldn’t feel God for a season of her life. This was one of the most loving, compassionate people to walk the face of the earth; she had saved the lives of hundreds of children throughout the world, yet she had felt God had left her life. Now theologically we know God is omnipresent. He is always with us but that doesn’t mean we can feel His presence.
In the darkness . . . Lord, my God, who am I that you should forsake me? The child of your love — and now become as the most hated one. The one — you have thrown away as unwanted — unloved. I call, I cling, I want, and there is no one to answer . . . Where I try to raise my thoughts to heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul. Love — the word — it brings nothing. I am told God lives in me — and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. -Mother Theresa
At some point in your life as a Christian, if you’ve walked with God at length, we can feel that God has forsaken us or abandoned us. It happened to Jesus and we are not better than our Master so at some point it may happen to us.
About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). -Matthew 27:46 NIV
When the dark night season approaches, take heart and don’t lose your faith because it is your faith that will get you through it. Your faith is what will strengthen you. Jesus was hanging on a cross between two thieves and he had a feeling that God left Him yet God the Father was right there. Jesus had faith in His Father realizing that God had a plan and regardless of the scorn, shame, and condemnation that was laid upon Him on the cross. Just because we FEEL that way does not mean that it has happened. Feelings are fickle. Faith is what matters most.
Our emotions which make up one third of our soul (mind, will, emotions) are a huge part of what will either keep us in the dark night or what will help us see the dawning of a new day. Our mind and will have huge implications also. We must submit our will to God’s will and we must keep our thoughts on God and His love for us.
So why does this happen? Why do we have to go through this dark season anyway? There are a number of reasons but as one who’s experienced it, for me it was to deepen my trust in God. My faith and trust in God grew stronger and I do remember when the season came to a close. I was in Sunday morning worship and I worshipped just the same as I always did. As I lifted my hands God’s presence overwhelmed me in the most powerful way and just like that… I felt Him again. As I look back I realize that His presence is something I hold so dear and even currently I crave His presence more than ever.
Even when we don’t feel Him, He is there. Don’t lose hope and don’t give up.