The dark night of your soul

By Dave Henning / November 23, 2018

“You’ll be tempted to think God has left you in the dark night of your soul.  But he hasn’t.  Like a surgeon, he’s operating. And when you surrender to him, it works for your good and his glory.  This season in your life doesn’t have to end in defeat.  And when you surrender it to Christ, it doesn’t, no matter how you feel.”- Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof concludes Chapter 12 of Didn’t See It Coming with factors eight through ten that help people recover from burnout.

8.  Grieve your losses.  Life, Pastor Nieuwhof observes, sometimes consists of a series of ungrieved losses.   Consequently, it’s healthy to take time to grieve your losses.  So, pay attention to feelings of loss.  Pray about them and process them.  Grieving your losses during your recovery provides opportunities to put your past behind you.  That way, your past doesn’t sabotage your present and your future.

9.  Reopen your heart.  As Carey exhorts, decide to trust again and live with your heart open, not closed.  Not only will you find many trustworthy people, but you know God always is.  The author adds, “Trusting after your trust has been breached keeps your heart fresh and alive and — ultimately — hopeful again.”

10.  Live today in a way that will help you thrive tomorrow.  Carey writes that this statement summarizes his antidote to burnout.  Most noteworthy, Pastor Nieuwhof posits, what’s the point in living your life in a way that simply avoids danger?  Therefore, you need to thrive rather than merely survive.

As a result, maintain spiritual, emotional, relational, physical, and financial health.  Only you are responsible for your health.  Hence, nourish your soul.

Finally, Carey urges you to remember that God loves to use broken people.  Because broken people, when they come to the end of themselves, learn there wasn’t much there in the first place.  As they realize the poverty within, they turn to Jesus for renewal and strength.

Today’s question: Through the power of the Holy Spirit, how have you surrendered the dark night of your soul to God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Emptiness — more intense in success”

About the author

Dave Henning

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