At times, God puts us into the shadow of his hand, holding us in darkness so that we might be still and learn to listen. Songbirds are taught to sing in the dark; we are taught to hear our Lord.

Are you in the dark right now, confused about your circumstances or your life with God? If you are, keep quiet: darkness is the time to listen. If you talk in the dark, you will talk in the wrong mood. Don’t consult other people about your problem; don’t seek the answers in a book. Other people’s voices and opinions will drown out what God is trying to tell you. Listen to God in the dark, and he will give you a precious message for someone else when you get back into the light.

After every time of darkness, there comes a mixture of delight and humiliation. There is delight at finally hearing God, and humiliation at how long it took to listen. “How slow I’ve been in understanding!” you’ll say. “And yet, God has been saying it all these days and weeks.” If you feel only delight, it is doubtful you have heard him at all.

Learn to welcome the humiliation as a gift: it is God’s way of teaching you how to listen better in the future. If you do, you will develop the softness of heart that always hears God now.

Wisdom from Oswald

The life of Abraham is an illustration of two things: of unreserved surrender to God, and of God’s complete possession of a child of His for His own highest end. Not Knowing Whither, 901 R