One of the traumatic impacts of the Dark Night is the fear of being lost on the road, thinking that all spiritual blessing is over and that God has abandoned us. The experience of both heart and mind is to grow weary, to live out of memory rather than imagination. It would be like a hunter letting his prey go free in order to hunt it again. The danger is turning back if there is no one who understands us because we lose courage.
I spent seven years on the most isolated, lonely back country road leading to seemingly no where. If it were a road then the number of travelers I encountered was only the faint sound of a car on an unseen road on the other side of the ravine. I have explained my situation to God, myself and countless others who have been my brothers, pastors, and friends without as much as a clue of what I was undergoing.
God is leading us onto another road, away from meditation and reasoning (purposeful use of the faculties) onto an dark endless highway, which is not the same as some divine eternal highway. This darkened path is the path of contemplation and does not yet boast of any signage of how far you’ve come nor how far you have to go. In fact, it would be safe to say that there isn’t really any path that one can see. It is densely encumbered with a plethora of obstacles, stones, underbrush and trees that give no indication that you are on a path. There is no map, no compass, no light or shadows to give any indication of a journey or of progress. You are simply groping and stumbling around in a maze of madness.
The expectation of the Dark Night of the senses is that we are to persevere in patience and to not think of yourself as having been afflicted. Trust that God will give you everything that you need and that he will be bringing you into a clearing of the light of his love and that it will all make sense. This all comes about when you encounter the second Dark Night of the spirit if you merit God bringing you into that next dimension.
I can testify that God by means of his favor through many a good person has treated us well and given us wonders in the wilderness with health, provision, love, prayer and visitation during these languishing laments.
This time of isolation appears as though nothing is being accomplished and is a terrible waste of time and talents. I have been sitting on the bench with my glove in my hand just waiting for an opportunity to get in the game, but it has been met with constant rejection. It seems as though I have wasted all my years of preparation and that my life has amounted to nothing. I am amazed that anyone, especially my children, finds any reason at all to stand near me, let alone beside me and behind me as I dissolve into nothing. The testament of their love is my only dim recognition that God exists and that his love must be more tangible than is currently imaginable.