“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places.”
Isaiah 45: 3.
These words were originally spoken by God to King Cyrus, but they were a special word from Him to me some years ago. And over and over again, God has given me treasures out of many kinds of darkness, and many secret places. I have given talks about the treasures He gave me out of much trial and difficulty in our years in Uganda. I could write a book about what He has given me since. And the stories go on, the lessons continue. Others may understand the same truths, but express them in diffferent ways. One friend always says “In everything give thanks”, and “Grow in your valleys”, and then tells stories from her life of the blessings out of problems, the hidden things God did through great trials.
We could bring many verses from scripture to express the answer to our continual question to God – “Lord, what are you doing with this? Do you love me, Lord? Why is this happening? “And often we have to wait longer than we would like to know the answers to those questions. But God IS our Father, and He wants to answer our whys. He told me that recently. And eventually we come to be so grateful for how we have grown and could not imagine how we could have become who we are without all that pain and struggle. I can affirm that in so many ways in my life. I imagine you could too. And my hunch is that you need to hear that again from me, as I need to hear it from you, time and time again.
I found a story by Henry Ward Beecher in Streams in the Desert that illustrates this spiritual truth in a special way. I share it here with you.
“I recollect, when a lad,..sitting on an elevation of a mountain , and watching a storm as it came up the valley. The heavens were filled with blackness, and the earth was shaken by the voice of thunder. It seemed as though that fair landscape was utterly changed, and its beauty gone never to return.
But the storm swept on, and passed out of the valley; and if I had sat in that same place on the following day, and said, “Where is that terrible storm, with all its terrible blackness?” the grass would have said, “Part of it is in me,” and the daisy would have said, “Part of it is in me,” and the fruits and flowers and everything that grows out of the ground would have said, “Part of the storm is incandescent in me.”
Have you asked to be made like your Lord? Have you longed for the fruit of the Spirit, and have you prayed for sweetness and gentleness and love? Then fear not the stormy tempest that is at this moment sweeping through your life. A blessing is in the storm, and there will be the rich fruitage in the “afterward.”
Let us keep expecting treasures in the darkness, blessings in the storm.