Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning. (Ps 30:5b)
When I was a boy, I had a fantastic three story tree house complete with ropes and ladders. One day I had the brilliant idea to erect a pulley lift that, through hoisting, would pull me on a seat up into the tree house above. All was well, like I said, a brilliant idea! Part way up my maiden hoist I realized, however (being a hefty lad), that the strength of my arms was not adequate to match the engineering of my pulley system. I let go and fell—flump! It was the first and only time I have had the wind knocked out of me. I lay there for some time until I came too and was able to go back to my play.
That story is a very simple description of the believer’s journey through life. There are times when all seems to be going well: well at work, well with the wife, well in our relationship with Jesus. Then suddenly, our world is turned upside down, by death, illness, succumbing to temptation, etc. However, through looking to Jesus, in time, life usually finds some sort of equilibrium again, and ultimately light always returns.
In studying prayers in the Bible and in Christian counselling, this process has been called: Orientation, Disorientation, Re-Orientation.
One Bible scholar notes 6 types of prayers found in the Old Testament offered to God by people who are disoriented:
The following suggestions are offered as ways of preparing for or walking in faith in the midst of disorientation (in no particular order):
This is like doing business in great Waters, or like going down into the deep; this is like being in the heart of the Sea, and like going down to the bottoms of the Mountains; now it seems as if the Earth with its bars were about us forever. But let them that walk in Darkness and have no light, trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon their God. For my part, as I have told you already, I have gone often through this Valley, and have been much harder put to it than now I am, and yet you see me alive. I would not boast, for that I am not mine own saviour, but I trust we shall have a good deliverance. Come, let us pray for Light to him that can lighten our Darkness, and that can rebuke not only these [fiends], but all Satans in Hell.
One thing is sure, we will face disorientation in life. I am always amazed by the Psalms that almost always, even after expressing disorientation in a variety of ways, end in faith and hope. Allow the Psalms to be the guide of your heart through disorientating experiences. Pray through them. They will express and align your heart to the Father and lead you from darkness into His glorious light.
Author: Chris Crocker
Pastor, historian and beekeeper.