Dark Times? There's Hope!
It was American author Og Mandino who wrote: “I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” Isn’t that a wonderful perspective on dealing with the dark seasons of life?
Most of us abhor going through those dark and frightening times. The only way some people deal with them is to be angry, drugged, or unconscious. Too bad. They will miss something special from God.
In Genesis 15:5 (NIV) Abraham received the greatest pronouncement of his life in the dark! “God took Abraham outside and said, ‘Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.’ Then He said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be!’” Unseen in the daylight, those magnificent stars revealed overwhelming promises for Abraham that could only be realized in the dark.
Nicodemus discovered Eternal Life in the dark! John 3:1, “There was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night.” For the next few minutes, Nicodemus received the most powerful message a human can receive, how to be saved and find Eternal Life. Good things can happen in the dark periods of our life.
It was at night that Jacob wrestled with God and received a great blessing (Genesis 32). He was never the same after that experience, and even had his name changed!
Paul and Silas were confined to prison in chains. But at midnight, as they sang praises to God, an earthquake shook open the doors, broke the chains, and set them free. Praising God in the dark is better than cursing the darkness.
When his child was deathly ill, King David pleaded with God all night while kneeling on the ground. He later wrote in Psalm 119:62 NIV, “At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.” Then in verse 148, “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.”
King David spoke from experience in Psalm 23:4 (KJV), “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” The Hebrew word for “shadow” (tsalm-th) means deep darkness, the darkness of a dungeon. Even in the dark periods of life, God is with us and can bring hope and blessing.
Sixteenth Century Spanish poet John of the Cross wrote, “In the dark night of the soul, bright flows the River of God.” Friend, if you are going through a dark period of your life, trust God and let Him speak to you an encouraging word.