|By Dr. Charles Solomon
In the darkest period of my life, caused by internal struggles, the Holy Spirit gave a promise, Ps. 37:5: "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." This was not to be fulfilled until 19 long months later by His illumination of Galatians 2:20: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Though I was a believer and a deacon in a Baptist church, the darkness continued to intensify. I didn't know what the answer was, nor even that there was an answer!
Subsequent to this sovereign work of the Holy Spirit and His calling me to the ministry two years later (Isa. 58:10-11), I came under intense spiritual warfare for four months, from which the Holy Spirit delivered me as I read Ps. 37:35-36 one night. The next day on the job, the following poem, my first, was given in a very short time by the Spirit which documented my journey to that point. The stanza about warfare in Canaan was added a little later.
It is my prayer that this testimony of God's sovereign dealing with my life might, almost half a century later, encourage those who are yet in a similar 'dark night of the soul.'
GOD'S PROCESSING TUNNEL
As we embark on the journey of life
And partake of its burdens and cares;
Ere long we loathe the turmoil and strife
And seek respite from its snares.
In vain we search for joy that endures
Among the pleasures and trinkets of Earth;
Only to find that which beckons and lures
Is empty and devoid of true worth.
On and on 'til the restless heart cries
For the relentless ache to cease;
Oh, for Someone to wipe tears from our eyes (Rev. 7:17)
And flood our beings with peace. (John 16:33)
At length we see that He who died (Rom. 5:8)
Was acquainted with sorrow and grief; (Isa. 53:3-4)
And we come, confessing our sin and pride; (Rom. 10:9-10,13)
And, in coming, experience relief. (John 5:24, 8:32)
In this new-found Friend all grace resides
That abounds to our every need; (2 Cor. 9:8)
The promise is to him who in Jesus abides, (John 15:5-7)
To him who from Self has been freed.
But the monster Self is a dauntless foe
That insists on ruling the life; (Rom. 7:18-19)
So, instead of the peace we fain would know,
We encounter a new kind of strife.
As the battle rages and clouds are dark,
And our way with heartaches is lined; (Rom. 7:24)
We almost give up; we almost give out: when hark--
A promise: ". . . I will bring the blind. . ." (Isa. 42:16)
Many are the doubts as He leads us along
By a path that we would not choose;
But, clinging to Him, we can't go wrong,
Since our life to save we must lose. (Luke 9:23-24)
As in a tunnel whose center is black
We yearn for light on our path;
In the wall of despair, we search for a crack
That we might walk by sight--not faith. (2 Cor. 5:7)
The Spirit's discipline, reaching far and wide,
Denies the comfort we keep demanding;
But, as we take our place in the Crucified, (Gal. 2:20)
We find peace past all understanding. (Phil. 4:7)
Now, as before, a new battle begins
For which we are ill-prepared;
As Satan his fiery darts expends (Eph. 6:16)
To tempt us again to despair.
When he launches forth his savage attack (1 Pet. 5:8-9)
To regain the ground he has lost,
We're tempted to quit and turn our back
On the warfare and its ultimate cost. (Eph. 6:12)
In the battle fierce with strength bereft,
We realize that all is but loss,
And retrace our steps to the place we left (1 Cor. 2:14)
As He delivers us always to the cross. (2 Cor. 4:11)
As our mortal flesh shows our union with Him,
Jesus' life will be made manifest;
And the things of this world will ever grow dim,
As we enter into rest. (Heb. 4:3)
Though your way seems hopeless and full of fears,
God is handling you in love, dear friend;
No matter how dark your tunnel appears,
Take heart, there is light at the other end.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version, public domain.
Dr. Charles Solomon is a contributing writer for IOM America - Transformational Biblical Worldview & Exchange Life Development.
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