“I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again….” Barbara Brown Taylor
“When we have hit bottom and are emptied of all we thought important to us, then we truly pray, truly become humble and detached, and live in the bright darkness of faith. In the midst of the emptying we know that God has not deserted us. He has merely removed the obstacles keeping us from a deeper union with Him. Actually we are closer to God than ever before, although we are deprived of the consolations that we once associated with our spirituality. What we thought was communion with Him was really a hindrance to that communion. …The theology of the dark night is simplicity itself. God strips us of natural delights and spiritual consolations in order to enter more fully into our hearts.” Brennan Manning
“The path of descent is the path of transformation. Darkness, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines.” Richard Rohr
“…God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.” Hebrews 12:10
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- We might think we want a “deeper union with God” until we learn what God does to “remove obstacles” that hinder that. He may empty us of “all we thought important”, and leave us feeling deserted and deprived of pleasures we depend on. Our usual consolation in God’s presence and gifts may evaporate. Is your desire for deeper union with God greater than your desire to escape this painful “path of transformation?”
- Imagine how confusing and unpleasant this can be, especially for someone who is unaware of this necessity. Are you aware of the likelihood that such an experience is in your future? If you minister to others, are you warning them?
- We have probably learned and perhaps teach others that learning “doctrines” is the key to spiritual formation. Is this your approach? Can you see why this approach is not enough in itself? If so, what are the implications for you? For your ministry?
Abba, help me to want you more than the other things that compete for your place. Sustain me in the journey to deeper union with you.
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”