I snapped this pic yesterday at my mother and step-father's house. I think it reflects both the darkness and the light.
Even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
The last fall we lived in Birmingham I joined our pastor's Wednesday night bible study. The class was doing a book study called Treasures of Darkness: Finding God When Hope is Hidden by Tara Soughers. I joined the class late and missed the first few chapters of the book. I completed the study gaining much from the last few chapters and feeling glad that I had joined when I did. A short time after that came our whirlwind move home to Texas where many things in our house were thrown in boxes and stayed in storage for six months before we found our new home. This book was one of those items carelessly thrown in a box. I had honestly forgotten about the book and the study. You know the rest of the story. We moved, we lived in an RV, we bought our house, we settled into last year, my mother was killed and here we are four months later.
Enter our God and His perfect timing. A month or so back I found this book while cleaning out our garage and getting ready for a garage sale. We still have a storage building full of stuff that has not yet been unpacked and our garage is just sad. There. is. stuff. everywhere. I am not kidding. On a Thursday night I got the crazy idea to hold a garage sale that very weekend. I had just had enough of the junk. As I picked up the book I immediately remembered the study, it's emphasis on treasures in darkness and knew that God had saved this very book for me for this time of darkness in my life. I love when He does stuff like this. Little things, you know that show you He's still in control. My friend Suzanne used to say to me, "He's got this!" She's so right.
I began rereading this book. I had actually never read the first few chapters that I had missed since I joined the study late.
I wanted to share a small piece from the chapter I read today.
If God is in the darkness, then it may be that our avoidance of darkness is a way of avoiding God, or at least of avoiding a deepening of our relationship with God. Staying in the light may seem to be safer, but I have never found staying safe to be conducive to growing closer to God. Darkness, on the other hand, requires me to rely not upon my own resources for safety but upon God. More aware of my need of God in times of darkness, I am more open to God's drawing me in.
I am finding that God is not just in my darkness, He is ALL over it!! Certainly, I would have been perfectly happy to avoid this time of darkness. But rather than let the darkness win I will choose to embrace (maybe too strong of a word, but I'll go with it) this time because I do desire a deepening of our relationship. I have always been aware of my need for God. That awareness has been magnified a 100 times over as a result of this time of grief and loss in my life. I have tried before to be drawn into God. I think I have even achieved this drawing in a time or two. But, I have never felt a stronger pull, a magnetic attraction that I cannot fight (not that I want to) like I am feeling today, and have felt since my mother's accident.
So, while I am not thankful for this dive into the darkness, for this time in unsafe territory, I am hopeful because I know that when this time is over and I resurface to the light I will be closer to my Father than I was before. For me friends, there is no greater gift of darkness than that.