Friday, February 7, 2014

Is God with you in the dark?

This is an edited re-blog. Don't miss the research links below.

If your brain has been assaulted by an endogenous (biological) depression you probably will feel deserted and forsaken. Dr. Theodore Mauger M.D. says, Many of the physiological expressions of the soul are in a very special part of the brain called the Limbic System. This system is ..involved in reflex responses to emotional (affective) arousal. { {Pine Rest Today, The Illness of Mental Illness, Pine Rest Marketing Department, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1990.} Mauger also says, one specific sign of knowing that your connecting with someone is that the lachrymal sac under the person's eye will swell. The sac swells as a reflect of the limbic system. If you are depressed in a clinical sense, you will have an inability to relate to others. Robyn has often commented that when I am depressed my eyes have lost their luster.

Another result of this failing of the limbic system is an inability to feel God's pleasure or to see His Face. This is what theologians call, Desertion of the Soul. The Puritans called this inability to feel God's sensible presence, desertion. However theologically speaking it is better called apparent desertion. This expression is a more accurate term.

Jeremiah felt this when he wrote I am the man who has seen affliction Because of the rod of His wrath. He has driven me and made me walk in darkness and not in light. Surely against me He has turned His hand repeatedly all the day. He has caused my flesh and my skin to waste away, He has broken my bones. He has besieged and encompassed me with bitterness and hardship. In dark places He has made me dwell, Like those who have long been dead. He has walled me in so that I cannot go out; He has made my chain heavy. Even when I cry out and call for help, He shuts out my prayer... My soul has been rejected from peace ; I have forgotten happiness. So I say, "My strength has perished, And so has my hope from the LORD,Lamentations 3:1-8 and 3:17-18.

In the first verse of Edwin Mote's hymn, The Solid Rock,he spoke of where the tried believer's trust should be,  in adversity and prosperity. He stated, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus' name. The word "frame" meant, a feeling or affection. We dare not trust in these "frames" but in Jesus' name, who is the the Author and the Finisher of our faith.
Mote again says, When darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace. Also here some theologians argue that darkness cannot hide the face of God, so they insert when darkness seems to veil His lovely face... Darkness in Scripture is not always a metaphor of sin.
For instance look at Isaiah 50:10, Who among you fears the Lord and
obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark,
who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God

Again, in Psalm 139, 11,12, we are told,
If I say, Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night, even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.

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Other resources and research