Saturday, February 25, 2017
the dry times
Daniel the desert monk teaches us something very profound today in A Year with the Church Fathers.
Another saint asked him why there are times when we are delighted and happy in our prayer and in our walk with Jesus... and then for no reason we can detect, we can subsequently be plunged into a dry, dark time which is often accompanied by depression.
Daniel replies that one of the reasons this occurs is because God is allowing us to realize that the happy blessedness of our close walk with Him is not due to our own efforts or holiness... but that it's a gift from God, so we should not get prideful about it.
This especially makes sense regarding the way we look at other people. It is SO EASY to fall into the trap of thinking of other people as being not as holy as we are, and perhaps that's why they live in a darkness while we are happy and fulfilled in the light. Now, to be clear.... I'm not saying that people who walk in the light are not happier than those who walk in darkness. I think that walking with Jesus brings a joy that nothing else in the world can bring. But. We experience this joy and holiness as a great gift from God, not a result of us being better people than those walking in darkness. And it should be our earnest desire that they should join us in the light... and we should work to that end.
God, thank You for permitting us to feel that dry darkness sometimes so that we learn that all is gift.