All Christians, even the most eminent servants of God, have their dead and dark seasons—when the life of God seems sunk to so low an ebb as to be hardly visible—so hidden is the stream by the mud-banks of their fallen nature.
By these very dark and dead seasons, the people of God are instructed. They see and feel what 'the flesh' really is—how alienated from the life of God; they learn in whom all their strength and sufficiency lie; they are taught that in them, that is, in their flesh, dwells no good thing; that no exertions of their own can maintain in strength and vigor the life of God; and that all they are, and have—all they believe, know, feel, and enjoy—with all their ability, usefulness, gifts, and grace—flow from the pure, sovereign grace—the rich, free, undeserved, yet unceasing goodness and mercy of God!
They learn in this hard school of painful experience, their emptiness and nothingness—and that without Christ they can do nothing. They thus become clothed with humility, that rare, yet lovely garb; cease from their own strength and wisdom; and learn experimentally that Christ is, and ever must be, all in all to them, and all in all in them.
By J. C. Philpot