As John Ortberg concludes Chapter 16 of Soul Keeping, he notes that Walter Brueggeman speaks of “psalms of disorientation.” The are psalms in which the soul is disoriented, God appears to be absent, and darkness is winning. The psalmist vents and boils over at God rather than demonstrating a polite piety- an honest faith.
John speaks of his own darkest time some years ago, when his greatest disappointment was deep and unfixable. He questioned his calling. John contacted Dallas Willard, eager for his answer. Dallas responded:
“This will be a test of your joyful confidence in God.”
Pastor Ortberg cites nineteenth-century writer Frederick Ferber (Growth in Holiness, 1854), who described the patience that leads to joyful confidence:
“In the spiritual life God chooses to try our patience first of all by His slowness. He is slow; we are swift and precipitate (rushing headlong or rapidly onward). It is because we are but for a time, and He has been for eternity. . . . Wait and He will come. He never comes to those who do not wait. He does not go their road. When He comes, go with Him, but go slowly; fall a little behind; when He quickens His pace, be sure of it, before you quicken yours. But when He slackens, slacken at once; and do not be slow only, but silent, very silent, for He is God.”
As John concludes, “the soul is a ship that needs an anchor.”
Today’s question: How have you developed joyful confidence in God following your vocation loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Dealing with conflict”