TREASURE in the DARK
BY: JAN A. ANTONSSON
NOVEMBER 1, 2014
The Glory Road Blog, A Kingdom Highway
“Truly you are a God who hides Himself, O God and Savior of Israel.” (Isa. 45:15, NIV)
This title made me smile because it is Halloween today and the only treasures most find in the dark is the candy handed out to Trick or Treaters. Dark, by the way, can be defined as “with little or no light: it’s too dark to see much, and hidden from knowledge; mysterious : a dark secret.” Spiritually speaking, then, darkness represents an absence of God who is light.
However, when we can’t seem to find God in a particularly vexing situation, most of us don’t celebrate the darkness, but rather pray for the Light of the World to shine on whatever vexing problem confronts us. You’ve no doubt noticed that we don’t have to pray for darkness. It just seems to find us at times. What do I do about this situation or that one? How shall I deal this problem? To whom shall I turn when I haven’t a clue? When Lenny was with me in the flesh, my times of darkness were rare because he walked beside me in everything. As they say in crime dramas, “he had my back,” meaning he had wise counsel which he shared when I needed it and gentle reminders that God Himself is all sufficient, omnipotent and omniscient for any and every dilemma. Now that he’s gone on to walk through the green pastures, beside the still waters, I often find myself flummoxed about finding the right direction in which to flow.
Above all else, I want to do what God wants me to do, and He has always been faithful to be there when I needed Him, but the truth is, I didn’t need Him as often when Lenny was here, as I do now. Lenny did NOT fill God’s shoes, not at all, but I seemed to have more self confidence with him by my side than I have now. The first year after he passed, was about dealing with staggering loss and soul chilling grief, dark days indeed. Now that time has dulled the pain somewhat, my daily task seems to be, figuring out how to live alone.
Friends who have never married, and who have thrived with only the Lord as their husband, are a source of strength, most of the time, but not always. In those bleak moments when a thorny issue arises for me to solve, I always say, “Lenny, I wish you were here, but I KNOW You are here, Lord.”
Sometimes, I feel very nervous about a situation and when I asked the Lord why, He said, “At some level, you still think it’s up to you to find the solution, or gain control. Nothing is up to you alone.” I should have those words bronzed and posted where I can see them everyday, but God is always there to gently remind me that He has what I need.
His reminder that nothing depends upon me is timely because my fall back position is always, “What do I have to do about this?” Through His prophet Isaiah, He said, “I will give you 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.” (Isa. 45:3, NIV) If nothing else, this verse helps us not to fear the dark because God wants us to know that He is there with us. A bit later in this passage, He stated His unconditional commitment to help us: “I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me.” (Vs. 5) In other words, His help is NOT dependent upon our keeping the rules or living right, but only upon His might and power, and of course, His will! Isaiah goes on to quote God saying that He forms the light and creates darkness (Vs. 6), so it’s no surprise that He is as present in darkness as He is in light.
Isaiah is ever comforting to those of us stumbling around in darkness and/or confusion. He said to the captives, “Come out, and to those in darkness, Be free.” (Isa. 49: 9, NIV) What good news for me and you and everyone.
He is ever with us whether we can see Him or not, and I suspect He covers us with darkness at times precisely because He wants us to experience Him in the midst of it, right before He turns on the Light.
Father, we thank You that nothing in this world can defeat us, because You teach us what is best for us and direct our steps in the way we should go. We praise You now and forever. Your voice truly is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path. Flood us with light so that we truly are a City set on a Hill, a light in the wilderness beckoning those who don’t know You to come join us in our journey home. We relax and take comfort knowing The Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth. Amen.