David Brainerd missionary to the North American Indians in the eighteenth century wrote in his journal:
‘I have no fellow Christian to whom I might unburden myself, or lay open my spiritual sorrows,
with whom I might take sweet counsel in conversation about heavenly things and join in social prayer.’
‘My labour is hard and extremely difficult and I have little appearance of success to comfort me…but
what makes all my difficulties grievous to be borne is that God hides His face from me.’ More than once he cried:
‘I mourned after the presence of God and seemed like a creature banished from His sight.’
On 2 August 1745, he wrote: 'My rising hopes, respecting the conversion of the Indians have been
so dashed, that my spirit is as it were broken, and couraged wasted and I hardly dare hope.'
On the 6 August 1745 - revival broke out amongst the North American Indians at Crossweeksung, on
the border of New Jersey! From Global Revival by Mathew Backholer. Go
Jesus and the Cross
The Saviour - Jesus Christ knew what it was like to be abandoned and alone in sheer agony whilst on
the cross and cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).
Sometimes believers will experience a sense of abandonment even though God promised never to leave
or forsake us. The Psalmist cried, “Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?” (Psalm 10:1). Though God can
be hidden, His love for us is unfailing, it never ceases and His mercy is new every morning - great
is His faithfulness.
God's Presence Withdrawn
It is one thing to know that God has withdrawn His presence because of known and unconfessed sin,
but it is quite another to feel that He has withdrawn Himself without any reason for doing so.
‘...The Lord tests the righteous’ (Psalm 11:5a).
Maybe it a test to see if we will really walk by faith and not by sight, holding the candle
of faith and not relying on the lighthouse of our feelings, whilst still trudging and ploughing
through the dark valley of despair. Stand fast like Job who was able to declare, “Though He
slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).
The Three Nuns
A Catholic theologian tells how in a dream he saw the Lord approaching three nuns who were at prayer.
The Lord bent down and spent a good deal of time telling the first nun that He loved her.
He did something similar with the second nun, but spent a little less time with her.
However, He seemed to ignore the third nun because He simply passed her by without even
a word. The man remembered thinking in his dream that the third nun had in some way
offended the Lord, but it was impressed upon him that she was the most favoured - God had
a special work for her to do which would involve a deep and abiding trust, and the only way
she would be prepared for that, was to learn how to obey even though God appeared to be absent.