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Enjoying God Blog


What must we think when we fall into those seasons of life where God seems distant and life is dark? J. I. Packer speaks to us with great wisdom and encouragement. He writes:

[Sometimes] “God brings on dryness, with resultant restlessness of heart, in order to induce a new depth of humble, hopeful openness to himself, which he then crowns with a liberating and animating reassurance of his love – one that goes beyond anything that was sensed before. As Christ’s humiliation and grief on the cross preceded his exaltation to the joy of his throne, so over and over again humbling experiences of impotence and frustration precede inward renewing, with a sense of triumph and glory, in the believer’s heart. Thus, with wisdom adapted to each Christian’s temperament, circumstances, and needs, our heavenly Father draws and binds his children closer to himself.”

(Rediscovering Holiness [Servant Publications, 1992], 100-01).


David, I don't think the "dark night" is something anyone would intentionally pursue. We are to pursue joy and illumination and satisfaction in God, as well as a sense of his presence. The "dark night" is what God in his mysterious and providential ways occasionally brings into our lives for the reasons Packer states. Does that help?

Sam- isn't the "dark night" referencing something that we intentionally pursue as a practice of a spiritual discipline. An exercise of emptying of that correct?

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