Isaiah 45:3 (NLT)
And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.
The story is told of how lace shops in Brussels spin the finest threads to make delicate lace. There are special rooms that are totally dark except for a little light let in through a small window. One spinner sits in the room alone, weaving threads of lace only under where the little bit of light can shine on the weaving process. As it turns out, the most beautiful lace is created in the dark with only a narrow stream of light.
Isn’t this how God works in our lives? We don’t know what he is doing. We can’t see what he is doing. Sometimes, it is hard to even believe that he is working, but we know he is because he said so. In the darkness and dimness of our lives, God does his best work. He uses our trials and troubles to weave into us character and strength, grace and faith. The worst experiences are often the space in which God chooses to beautify our hearts and souls.
And it works the same way with us. We don’t fully know why we are doing something, why we pray so much, why we read scripture, why we attend church, why we sit in quietness and feel God’s presence wash over us. Often, we are following the path God has placed before us and it doesn’t make sense to us, nothing seems to be adding up. We don’t see the path far before us because God only gives us enough light for the next step. And when we take that step, he continues to provide light for the next step.
Faith wouldn’t be necessary if everything were laid out before us. If we could see the end from the beginning, we wouldn’t need experiences that teach us to trust and obey. Yet, we know that if we stay faithful and keep taking one step after another, we soon begin to realize that God’s best work in our lives was done in the dark, when we were the only ones in the room, with just a little stream of light pouring in to our souls. God gives “treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches” so that we may know that God is the Lord.
If you are going through a time of uncertainty or of deep shadows because you can’t see any further than the next step, know that God wants you to get closer to him. Seeing isn’t always believing in God’s world. We believe and God turns our beliefs into reality. Don’t become discouraged and lose the little light for all the darkness. Go on in faith, trust, and love. God sees. God knows. God cares. And God is watching because he wants to bring good out of all the grim details and joy out of sadness. God’s best treasures are hidden in dark places.
“When walking through the “valley of shadows,” remember, a shadow is cast by a Light.”
— H. K. Barclay