Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."
It is a fool hardy presumption to try to anticipate the Creator of the universe. And yet it is in our very nature to dry to do so. We sit back and look at a situation and we imagine what God could or might do in order to bring about some desired end, only to realize, not only were we wrong in anticipating the methods, but quite possibly the results as well.
Anticipation, it has such an endearing sound to it. Full of hope and expectancy, most anticipation speaks of promising things, something to look forward to. But there can be a fearful anticipation as well.
I spoke in my last post about "hope deferred," so I have already outed myself as knowing that God is the one in charge, and He alone has, and should have the power to determine not only the end, but the process and road that lead to it.
Sometimes it's as though you have been led into a dark room. It is hard not to become discouraged when walking around inside of it, you feel your hand run across the walls looking to find your way, when suddenly you "touch" what feels like a proverbial light switch, only to realize when you flip it that the bulb at its end is apparently burned out. It didn't light the room as you'd hoped at all.
I find myself in this dark room, fuddling about. I entered the room willingly because I thought God told me to enter into it. I suppose I entered in anticipating a hallway of sorts, straight, short, simple, but it is incredible this thing, darkness - the fact of the matter is, God does not hold the door open and allow the light in as He leads us there, we do not get a view of the room before entering. From the moment we step in it is totally dark, we don't know the layout of the room, or its size, or even its purpose. Have you ever been led into a room like this one?
I suppose there is enough wits about oneself that we might be able to make it back to the door where we entered, to retreat back out, but this is the one thing we know with certainty is not the plan intended. But maybe your entry into the room didn't start with a "step of faith" at all like mine did. Perhaps your journey into this room was unwilling, maybe a loss, a diagnosis, or even a wound served as your doorway into this dark room you feel more like you were forced there than led, and even if you find the door, it's only to realize it's been locked, and that you have no key to open it. .
What happens in this room? A moment of devestation? Perhaps disappointment, that it's not what we expected it would be. Frustration maybe? As we realize we don't have the power or control we think we should? I know anger can rise, because it's not where we would like to be. These are only a few of the negatives that could arise in the darkness. There's confusion, anxiety, irritation, hurt - all known to arise in this room.
Hopefully surrender is found there eventually. I suspect reaching that point is at least like finding a match in your pocket. You reach to find the nearest wall and drag the match across it. As it lights, there is just a glimmer, just a glint, not enough light to illuminate the room, but perhaps enough to light the next step, if you're lucky, maybe two. But then the match burns out.
What of this darkness? What does God say about this darkness? Is there hope here?
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the LORD,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.
Treasures? That's what He said. There are treasures in the darkness. Treasures He intends for us there, treasures He wants for us to find.
Perhaps it is a gift of being alone. Maybe it is only here, alone, and in the dark that we will finally come to the end of ourselves, our own strength, our own sufficiency. Perhaps there is power of a different kind, when we finally come to terms with our desperation. When we finally acknowledge that we don't have nearly the power or strength in ourselves that we pretend we do when we are out in the "light."
Perhaps it is in the darkness, when we stop fighting against it, and finally still ourselves, it is then is when our hearts and minds, our spiritual ears will finally tune themselves to truly listening for God's voice. The darkness will hush every other voice, when we choose to listen to the only one who sees inside the darkness.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
Perhaps the truest gift of all, is realizing we are not alone in the dark at all, no matter how frightened, or lonely, or discouraged we may feel, the reality is, that we are not alone, not on our own. That the darkness may be our circumstance but it is not at all our reality. In that darkness, Jesus is there.
nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nor darkness... nor discouragement... nor feelings... nor fear.... nothing...
Does it make it easier to embrace the darkness? Perhaps not. But it should make us more determined to reach out in the darkness for the treasures that are there, and soon we will discover, the greatest Treasure of all to be found, is more of Jesus.
So if you find yourself here, seek Him, and all the treasures that are in Him to be found.
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the LORD your God goes with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you."
Hold on to Him, for He is holding on to you.