The good thing about the above statements is the hope resident in the wording: "at the end.." indicates that you have not yet let go...still hanging on..."at my wits end"...you still have some wits about you"..."about to crack.." you have not yet entered into complete irretrievable lunacy..."...about to go crazy,"...on the brink of insanity, but not yet..... Tribulation: the evidence that life on earth brings brokenness. Perhaps, it is even designed to bring us to the end of ourselves.
King David: " [ I am] in the pit and in the mirey clay."
Jeremiah: "...my tears water my pillow every night."
Job: "...the words of a desperate man belong to the wind."
Esther: "....if I perish, I perish."
Peter: "...I don't know Him."
Jesus Christ: ..."My God, my God, why have you forsaken me."
The lives of those that have gone before us. The words of those that have experienced the "dark night of the soul," and survived to record the agony of "defeat," and the "ecstasy" of victory."
King David wrote the 40th Psalms after being reinstated as King over Israel, following the "coup d'etat," by his charismatic son Absalom. Absalom, his beloved, but wayward son, was dead at the hands of David's Commander General Joab. Even, though David was in his rightful place as King, his heart had been broken and his joy destroyed. How could the Lord have allowed this to happen? The "pit and the mirey clay", the perfect metaphors for David's emotional battle with life and death.
Dark walls of danger and uncertainty surrounded his life and such heaviness of soul that each step forward was as if his feet were stuck in the unyielding clay of sorrow and grief. The short story of this psalm is that in despair David did not allow his love of God to disintegrate. "I waited patiently on the Lord and He heard my cry." (Ps. 40:1) Waited. And it is in the waiting that the light starts to dim and in creeps doubt, silently. We are told that truly, weeping may endure for a night, but...joy comes in the morning. With the morning light comes the steadfast love of the Father. With the light the establishment of our paths is secured and we are rescued from the pit of sinking sand. David concluded through his struggle: "He heard my cry and lifted me up out of the pit and out of the mirey clay and set my feet upon the rock and established my goings....He put a new song in my mouth, even a song of praise and many shall see and fear and come to know the Lord." (Ps. 40:1-5)
Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet. His heart was often torn by the hardness of the Israelites indifference to the messages from Holy God. On more than one occasion Jeremiah found himself in opposition to the governing authorities and his life in danger of being snuffed out by irate potentates. Threatened, imprisoned and thrown into a pit, Jeremiah languished for the sake of the Word of the Lord. Even in his dark prophesyings, however, the light breaks through with the hope of restoration: "I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not evil, plans to prosper you and give you hope and an expected end." (Jer. 29:11)
Of all our believing forefathers, Job's name invokes the gold standard in tribulation. Divested of all his material possessions and all ten of his children in one day, Job still refused to curse God. Touched with boils from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet was more bearable than the three misguided friends that offered "counsel" during his dark night of the soul. He suffers greatly at the hands of the enemy, but the faithfulness of God shines brightly at the dawning of the last chapter: "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes...the words of a desperate man belong to the wind...And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before...So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning..." (Job 42:5,6,10,11)
Esther was the Queen of Persia. But she had not always lived in luxury. By the Hand of the Lord, Esther was picked in a beauty pageant to replace the rebellious Queen Vashti. Plucked from her common life as a young Jewess to the Ivory Palaces of the Kings harem. Esther's Uncle Mordicai was privy to the plot against the King's life and secreted the information to Esther. She and she alone had the power to influence the King to save all the Jews of the Kingdom. The only problem was the directive that kept anyone, including the Queen, from going into the presence of the King unsummonsed. When she voiced her hesitancy to her Uncle, he assured her that she had come into the Kingdom for such a time as this and if she refused the "assignment" that God would raise up a deliverer from somewhere else, but she, herself would not be immune to the death angel. It was a a dark night. Esther struggled. And then uttered these famous words: "Go gather together all the Jews of Susa, and fast for me. Do not ear of drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. when this is done, I wil go to the King, even though it is against the law. AND IF I PERISH, I PERISH." (Esther 4:16) The courage birthed out of the dark night of her soul brought forth the light of deliverance for all the Jews. Light always overcomes darkness.
Peter had been the disciple that made the premier confession.."You are the Christ the Son of the Living God." He also was the disciple that promised to go the death with the Lord. Unfortunately, he also distinguished himself by being the disciple that dishonored the Lord by denying him three times. It was a very dark night when he ran from the courtyard and from his loyalty to Jesus. After Christ's resurrection, he made breakfast for the disciples turned fishermen and bid them come and eat. It was after the meal that Jesus gave Peter three invitations to feed his sheep. Peter replied all three times that he loved the Lord and would obey him. History tells us that from the dark night of Peter's disgrace came the dawn of a new affirmation. Not only did Peter obey the Lord he followed him in a martyr's death, refusing to be counted worthy to be crucified in the like manner of the Lord, he asked to be crucified upside down; and he was. The darkness was sent to destroy, but it only allowed the light to permeate with an intensity that cleansed and brought forth a purity of purpose and passion.
The scriptures tell us that when Jesus was in the final moments before he yielded his spirit into the Father's hands, he cried out in agony,"My God, my God, why have you foresaken me?" And Jerusalem became as dark as midnight, even though it was mid afternoon. The weight of the world's sin was the darkest night of the soul anyone has ever experienced. It was the death blow to the Light of the World. Temporarily. Joy comes in the morning...and on the third day the Light arose out of darkness, the earth shook, the tomb was opened and Victory Shone Forth in All His Glory!!! Darkness forever defeated by the Everlasting Light that lights all mankind!!!
Light always has the advantage. Darkness does not have the ability to overcome the light. Even a small candle can be seen in the darkest night from several miles away. The enemy wants to destroy, but the Lord of Light will use whatever he throws at us to bring good. Yes, we may struggle, but we will always win, if we do not faint. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.