Photo by Nicole Tarpoff
We all go through difficult times. Sickness, stress, pain, financial challenges, relational difficulties, loss, sadness, loneliness, grief, heartache—the list goes on. We struggle through these difficulties, crying out to the Lord for help. Out of His great loving kindness and mercy He hears us and sends us the help we need, rescuing us from our distress.
Most of our challenges are short-lived. But there are times when the Lord allows us to go through an extended season of difficulty or suffering. We cry out to the Lord like always, but this time there are no answers, no comforting presence, no immediate rescue or joyful deliverance. God seems hidden and painfully silent. Time slows down. Doubts creep in. The Holy Spirit seems far and the Enemy seems near.
It is very dark.
Having gone through numerous seasons of debilitating anxiety and depression, I am well acquainted with times of darkness. During these seasons of crushing despair, I would often cry out to God: “What is going on? Have you completely forgotten about me? Why won’t You answer my prayer? How can good possibly come out of this intense pain? Is there purpose in this darkness?”
Recently the Lord spoke to me about this dilemma of darkness. Fond as He is of using parables, He used a story to bring the message home to me. It was my story—one about a lost diamond—that had occurred over a year ago.
I was sitting on my couch that day when I happened to glance down at my hand and see that my engagement ring was empty. After searching carefully through my entire house to no avail, I decided to google “How do I find a lost diamond in my house?” There was one suggestion that kept coming up again and again: Turn off all the lights in the house and get down on your hands and knees with a flashlight and shine the flashlight across the floor. If it shines on the diamond, it will sparkle brightly and you will easily be able to spot it.
This made sense to me, and with renewed hope, I found a flashlight, turned off all the lights and started in the laundry room. Incredulously, within one minute I was holding my diamond in my hand, after seeing it sparkle vividly from underneath the dryer.
As I pondered this amazing story, I felt the Lord speak clearly to me:
“Kelly, it was the darkness that enabled the diamond to be found.”
As I let the truth of that statement soak in, I realized that indeed, I never would have found the diamond in the daylight. It was the darkness that revealed it.
Darkness, in the life of a child of God, does have purpose. Sometimes the most valuable lessons and insights the Lord wants to teach us can only be learned in the dark. Our faith—of greater worth than gold and diamonds—is being refined and strengthened during these trying times as we are conformed into the image of Jesus. Though the process is painful, God doesn’t want us to be afraid of the dark.
There are diamonds to be found in it.
I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.