Communion develops in the dark
From Larry Crabb in his article, “Confessions of a Badly Dressed Mytic”
Union is established by the cross. Communion develops in the dark.
Union—securing a right relationship for a sinful person and holy God by the work of Christ
Communion—slow growth and enjoyment of the relationship gained above.
Present communion—has “more to do with the pain of thirst than the enjoyment of gratification.” Joy is more of a hope of satisfied desire than the experience of satisfaction
“We sometimes feel forsaken. We always are accepted and loved. That’s union. In the darkness, when we feel forsaken, we discover our desperate thirst for God, our consuming desire to know him, to experience him, to enjoy him. And concentrating on that desire, even as the experience of his absence deepens, is one form of communion, perhaps the one most pleasing to God.” 27
Actually, I heard a great illustration of this in a powerful testimony yesterday at church. Sandra had back surgery two years ago and because she was allergic to pain medication, she had the 18 hour surgery and all of her rehab without pain medication. Unbelievable, eh? She was expressing thanks for all that had prayed for her at church. She said for the past 2 years, “Pain has been my constant companion and diligent teacher.” She went on to describe how God had deepened her during this time. I think she was saying, like Crabb, that communion develops in the dark.
Reading in Psalm 77 and in this Psalm, Asaph seems to be experiencing the withdrawal of God. And yet . . . he says in verse 13, “Oh God, your ways are holy.” Oh yes, the inscrutable, holy, mysterious ways of God. Thank you Lord, thank you.