I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel Who summons you by name.
No one puts on their Christmas list:
Give me darkness. I really, really desire more darkness.
But, for me, spiritual maturity hasn’t come during sunny seasons when things are going well.
Re-visiting last week’s scene with the shepherds…
There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. Luke 2:8
Like good caretakers, they were watching over their sheep while standing in darkness.
What a perfect picture of Almighty God Who keeps protective watch over His sheep.
Particularly at night.
The Lord is my Shepherd. Psalm 23:1a
I’m a big fan of the light. More so as my vision fails in keeping with aging eyeballs. Whoever thought it was a good idea to print cooking instructions in white against pale green packaging was wrong.
And you won’t find me entering a dark room without a darn good reason.
In general, I don’t like darkness because I can’t see. Even the thought of fumbling around, patting walls, eyes wide open searching for the slightest hint of light, feeds anxiety.
But in the darkness, God tests my faith, actively working to change or perfect something in my heart. He knows I might well be standing in full light of sun, yet engulfed in utter, spiritual darkness.
Treasures of darkness.
From God’s perspective, there are riches stored in secret places meant to serve Divine purposes.
They can’t be bought. They’re freely given.
Treasures that tell of His faithfulness.
His unfailing love.
His goodness — no matter the meager sum in my bank account. Or the abundance of earthly possessions, for that matter, because, deceived by clever Christmas ads, I’ve found “things” leave my soul disillusioned.
Treasures of darkness are hardships I’ve endured.
Stored in the secret place of God’s heart, these treasures are plenty rich, uniquely designed by God for His sheep.
…so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel Who summons you by name.
The Shepherd Who watches over His flocks at night won’t snatch me from darkness when there are treasures to be gained there. He never leaves me to wander aimlessly alone in it, so there’s no sense depriving me of growth that comes from the difficulty.
Ultimately, these treasured lessons are intended to be shared with other sheep.
What treasures of wisdom have you acquired in times of darkness? I’d love to know what the Shepherd has taught you.