As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. (Genesis 15:12)
Oswald Chambers points to the problem of darkness, not the kind caused by sin and spiritual blindness, but that inky sense that God is not talking to me right now. He is not telling me what is going on, what to do next, why life is like it is, those sorts of questions. This is the darkness that has one solution: I must be still and listen.
Abraham went through thirteen years of silence. He had taken Sarah’s advice instead of waiting for God’s light. But as Chambers says, if God gives a vision and darkness follows, I must not take action but wait. I cannot ever try and help God fulfill His word. In that long silence, God destroys all self-sufficiency, leaving no possibility of relying on commonsense or anything else but Him. That means silence and darkness is usually a time of discipline, not displeasure. In others words, drop any attempts to “pump up joy and confidence” or trying to “look on the bright side.” Instead, keep my heart focused on Jesus and trust Him.
Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. (Isaiah 50:10)
I might have assumed that I have no confidence in the flesh, but recognize wanting to help the doctors diagnose and treat my husband. Maybe I am trusting them entirely and not God? Or am I trusting others to pray and not myself? Or is my confidence placed in prayer and not in God Himself, in His blessings and not His Person?
God wants me to know that He is reality and everything else is shadow, even my own understanding. To Him I cling. To Him we must cling.
My husband is in an isolation room for which we are thankful. Everyone must put on gown/mask to go in there, even the staff people who bring in and pick up his tray of food. He is being watched closely, treated with expertise, and is thankful — which is normal for him. He is weak, not breathing very deeply, and glad for his IV meds, oxygen, and that they are feeding him solid foods. Right now, there are many shadows.