Bringing Light to the Dark Night of the Soul

John 8:12 NAS – 12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald took the words of “St. John of the Cross” and wrote in his book “The Crack-Up”:

“In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.”

What he’s referring to is that poor soul who wakes up at 3 o’clock every morning and rehearses over and over in the mind the things in life he/she has, doesn’t have, wishes to have, or ruined. For Fitzgerald, God was absent. The point of his insight was at the end of the dark night we discover who we are. We’re on our own, assigned to invent our own set of laws to live by, and those policies are our own little lights apart from God. Keeping those regulations allow us to sleep at night, violations prevent slumber. At the end of day we learn who we are.

This is far from what the mystic “St John of the Cross” envision. He implied that at the end of the dark night we find a union and communion with the Divine. The discovery is that God is everything and we are nothing. When Jesus says, “He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness,” He is saying I have a solution for the “Dark Night of the Soul.” If you’re up every morning at 3 am—follow me! If you choose to do so you will not walk in darkness. Most of our restlessness is depended upon our situations and circumstances. If you’re life is troubled by “I don’t have” and “I wish I had”, or “I’m in ruin”, those experiences won’t change because you’ve come to Jesus. Sleepless nights don’t end just because you’re now a Christian.

When you follow Jesus what will change, however, is you’re inner ability to handle and to deal with problems! Jesus Christ is really good at placing you on a path that keeps you from walking down the road of the “Dark Night of the Soul”! It’s through a personal relationship with Christ that we come to find this hope! Let me read our verse again just to make sure we get it:

John 8:12 NAS – 12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

J. Robert Hanson

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