The Treasures of Darkness
About a month ago, I wrote about the hard times we go through in life, and how I regretted not preparing my kids better for those times. Sara Matheny responded with a quote from one of her professors at Harding. He told his classes to “Stop wishing the desert experiences out of your life.”
My immediate reaction to that admonition is a sense of dread and disappointment, because I don’t want any desert experiences, and I want to pray them away. But my reaction is also based on my recognition of the truthfulness of that statement. I know we have to endure trials. I Peter 1:6-7 states, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
We still instinctively resist any pain or difficulties, though – some of us (me) more than others. So we have to quell our instinct in order to accept what God is giving. I’m working toward this acceptance of the hard times. I’m not there yet; I’m still not ok with pain or darkness. But I’m just trying to accept whatever comes as being from God or something that He is working through to achieve something in me.
So last week a verse in the Bible just leaped off the page at me. “I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places.” Isaiah 45:13. I thought “the treasures of darkness? There are treasures stored only in the dark places?” Then I thought, “No, that probably just means ‘hidden treasures’ or ‘buried treasures’ that we have to work to find.” But when I studied the word, looking at all the translations and the literal meaning, it is not a buried treasure. It is literally “treasures of darkness.”
This is a bittersweet thing. There are treasures to be found in the darkness, but we have to go into the darkness to find them. And that’s a hard place to be. But I don’t want to miss the treasures. I have begun to look for the them and I’m writing them down.