This past week private letters from Mother Theresa were published, troubling letters that reveal a woman who struggled with the silence of God.
All of us at one time or another have struggled with the silence of God. We all have dry seasons, dark days, times when life simply hurts and God seems distant. If this has been your experience, it doesn’t mean you have no faith or have lost your faith…it means that you are facing inner turmoil. We’re waiting for God to act, and we cry out like the psalmist, “How long, O Lord?” Then when life takes a nasty turn, we wonder if God has lost interest in us, or if He is remote, uninvolved. We feel abandoned, but in truth God is near.
Mother Theresa felt anguish, yet she remained faithful. Closeness to God is not about feelings; it’s about obedience. She kept doing what she believed God had called her to do, even though she felt little joy. God has called us to be faithful and obedient, but He has not guaranteed that we’ll necessarily be happy all the time.
God does not accept us on the basis of our feelings but on the basis of our faith (which is a gift). He promises to heal our souls. He is present, even when it seems like He is absent. To expect a life of unbroken happiness all the time is an unrealistic view of Christianity. With faith will follow suffering, struggle, persecution, even doubt. Those who know sorrow are closest to the heart of Jesus, the wounded Healer. The One who struggled in dark Gethsemane walks with us in the valley of the shadow.
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