Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Treasures of Darkness

"And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel." (Isa.45:3)

Those dark times...had any lately? We all have them. Usually it is circumstances that open these floodgates of misery—sickness, bereavement, failure, disappointment, etc. However, one of the "beauties" of this phenomenon is its self-generating ability. There is not always a justifiable motivation. It can exist without rhyme, reason, or reality, having what would seem to be a life of its own. What we make of these times is the same choice we are given with any of life’s distresses: we can ignore them, much as a Christian Science advocate might seek to deny the existence of sickness; we can endure them, making sure those around us are conscious of what we're going through; or we can choose to go treasure hunting.

God says there is a treasure somewhere in our darknesses, "hidden riches" in some secret place. A place, He says, where one can find who God really is and realize that you and He are on a first-name basis. This is not the only verse that tells us to look for God in the darkness. You will find it in Exodus 20:21, and again in 2 Chronicles 6:1, where we read, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness." This may seem to be a contradiction for the God who is Light, but the One who would "enlighten my darkness" (Psl.18:28), must first enter into it.

I read once that the man with no experience in the dark has nothing to communicate in the light; and no doubt this is true, for Jesus said, "What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light" (Matt.10:27). Obviously, God did not mean for us to live our lives in the dark times, or He would have left Elijah under the juniper tree (1 Kings 19) and Jonah under the gourd (Jonah 4). To linger in the darkness longer than God intended, is to show we have learned nothing.
When we allow God to invade our dark times, we discover the "deep things” (Job 12:22a)—the hidden treasures of darkness.


I walked a mile with Pleasure
She chattered all the way,
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne'er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me!

— Robert Browning Hamilton

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