When you're standing on top of the mountain, you can see everything clearly that is below. But when you're in a deep valley, your vision is severely hindered. The longer we remain in the valley, the harder it is to remember what we saw while standing on the mountain top.
Fear and doubt come from a lack of knowledge or understanding. When we are stumbling through darkness caused by the pain of our suffering, it can become easy to forget what the Lord has already shown us. Like turning off a light at night and trying to walk through a familiar room, we have to remember where everything was so we do not trip and hurt ourselves. Unfortunately the longer we remain in darkness, the harder it is to remember.
After we are weakened by pain and troubled by blindness, temptation becomes our companion in the valley. It tries to rob us of everything we learned during our time with God on the mountain top. During these moments we feel the urge to question what we used to believe. Then we are bombarded with guilt for having these feelings.
Have you, like me had this experience? If so, we can all find comfort in remembering what Jesus experienced on the cross. I'd like to share this bible passage:
"From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eli, Eli, lemasabachthani?” (which means 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?')" (Matthew 27:45-46) NIV
We can be sure that Jesus knew everything about His sacrifice on the cross before it happened. Indeed, the prophet Isaiah wrote about how our Lord would one day suffer. He who knew no sin would become sin; He would take our punishment on His shoulders and satisfy God's desire for justice.
Jesus was also aware that during this process, God the Father would temporarily turn His back on Him. Why then, while in agony on the cross would our Lord ask God for an answer He already knew? I believe it's because His suffering was so great, it actually blinded Him from what He had known earlier.
What can we learn from this? If the Almighty King was temporarily blinded from God's presence and wisdom, we do not have to feel guilty when we have the same experience. The feelings of doubt and fear that are caused by pain do not define us; they are simply a byproduct of intense suffering. Also, if we remain faithful to God during these periods of suffering, blindness and doubt, He will eventually rescue us and restore our spiritual sight.