Ecclesiastes 3:11 Amplified Bible
“God has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. God has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God].”
A Word of Hope
When life turns dark and difficult, many people draw closer to God for help, solace, and peace. I know that’s often been my own experience. And if that is where you find yourself in these troubling times, I encourage you to cling to God and walk through this together.
In this season of life, however, I’ve often struggled to see, experience, or even believe. I wrestled with the idea of addressing my doubts here as it did not seem to be good, inspiring devotional material.
But, I can only surmise that if God seems remote and silent to me in these times, others among us must be experiencing the same. In fact, anyone who has followed the path of Christ for any length of time has walked through these hollow, frustrating times as well.
Rather than subvert these doubts and questions, it seems right for me to address them as an aspect of our experience in our walk with God
My questions and doubts stem primarily from my tendency to think, overthink, and think again about how the goodness of God and the presence of suffering can coexist.
A couple of days ago, I took another “denial day” during which I will not watch or listen to the news, doom-scroll through social media, or participate in group texts about Armageddon. It’s a temporary denial, but one I insist upon consistently to maintain some equilibrium. YouTube suggested a documentary about Beethoven would do me good and I complied. Twenty minutes in, the “Moonlight” Sonata began – a piece I’ve listened to hundreds of times before – and tears dropped from my eyes. As the famed neuroscientist Oliver Sacks described it, “Music can pierce the heart directly; it needs no mediation.”
Once the Ninth (and final) Symphony with its “Ode to Joy” began, the passionate chorus cut through all the walls and tension I’d built around me over the last year. It bypassed my overactive mind, softened my rigid solar plexus, and opened my soul. My questions and doubts dropped away. Not because they were necessarily answered, but because I experienced what Beethoven called the “entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind, but which mankind cannot comprehend.”
The arts, and music in particular, work as a gateway to the Divine for me. I often experience God through them on that level where questions and doubts no longer seem relevant. Whether or not Beethoven or the arts do that for you, whether or not this has been a season of doubt and questioning in your life like it has in mine, the tumultuous and difficult events of late have left us all tired, worn, and in need of rest for our souls. I encourage you to seek out those avenues that you know relax your physical defenses and connect you to God. From that place, we find healing for our souls and reacquaint ourselves with the incomprehensible majesty and beauty of God.