Some saints experience a dark night of the soul, including such famous saints as Mother Theresa. They say the experience reshapes them and brings them closer to God.
But what about a "dark century of the soul" for a people? God can be interested in peoples as well as people; on the relationships among peers and along the generations. Without losing sight of people an infinite God can also care about tribes.
It is risky to try to explain what we call good and bad in a person's life (see Job), and it has to be even harder to understand God's purposes in something bigger than a single person. What would God be looking for?
I need to go through Psalms and see how it relates to "families:" I always read it from the point of view of individuals.