And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—
I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.
This was the scripture that the Lord spoke to me, shortly after my daughter died, in 2005. I admit that my initial response to this verse was rather negative.
“Really God? What treasures could there possibly be lurking in the darkness?”
No. I was not a fan of this verse, at first.
Even if there WERE treasures; secret riches hiding in the darkness, could they ever make up for the agony of losing my child? Never! What a ridiculous thought!
I tucked this verse away, refusing to be comforted by it.
Occasionally I would pull it out of the recesses of my mind, shake my head at it, mock it, and tuck it back away where it could no longer assault my heart.
Then, some time later, I began to challenge the Lord.
“Fine,” I said.
“Show me. Show me these so-called “treasures” that are supposedly hidden in the abyss of this wretched darkness. Show me, and let ME be the judge.”
Sound familiar? Maybe a little like Job?
It’s a wonder God didn’t strike me dead!
I prayed, and I waited.
Then I prayed, and I waited some more.
And suddenly, I started to notice things. Simple things. Intimate things. Tiny glimpses that displayed God’s profound love and care for me.
Without fail, He always managed to minister to my heart in a way that only He could.
The Lord knew exactly what I needed, when I needed it.
Tender mercies in the midst of such heartache and pain. Indeed, riches stored in secret places.
This August marked the 12 year anniversary of our daughter’s passing.
Wouldn’t you know that after all this time, the Lord continues to bestow His tender mercies on us!
Lamentations 3:22 says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
And it truly is great!
But you know- I got to thinking about this verse again recently…the treasures of darkness…and as I pondered, it dawned on me that although His daily treasures saw me through the most horrendous times in my life, HE is the real treasure!
When undergoing suffering, our natural instinct is to try and crawl out from under it.
To hide from it. To drown out the pain.
We turn, instead, to anything and everything BUT God.
Alcohol, drugs, pornography, religion, relationships, hobbies, television, social media, work, etc.
If you’ll notice, not all of these things are “unhealthy” per se, but when we use them to replace the Lord, they BECOME unhealthy.
Not one of these things can satisfy.
There is only One who satisfies, and His name is Jesus!
He is our true treasure!
Our trials, if we let them, can lead us into a deeper, fuller relationship with Christ, than we have ever known, or CAN ever know, until we walk with Him through the valleys.
Before entering into seasons of suffering, we may know what it is to pray, but it is in the midst of suffering that we begin to understand what it is to listen to the Lord’s still, small voice.
For it quickly becomes our anchor.
Without times of trial, we may think we know how to abide in Christ, but only through our trials do we discover what it is to cling to the cross; fingers tightly wrapped about.
For in it lies our salvation.
Prior to hardships, we may have a good handle on what it means to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and soul, but only by walking hand in hand with the Lord through our hardships, will we come to learn what it is to be loved BY Him; the kind of love that reaches into the deepest, darkest trenches of the soul, and rescues us from the pit of despair.
For He is love.
Unless given divine revelation, we may think we know what it is to seek Him, but until we first understand that we are lost, we will never know what it is to be found by Him; every part of us.
For He is our savior.
Why does He give us the treasures of darkness?
Verse 3 says, “so that we may know that He is God; the One who calls us by name.”
He is an intimate God.
A caring God.
A personal God.
A God who loves us enough to call us by name.
It is inevitable. We will all face hardship. There is no way around it, for we live in a fallen world.
Maybe you’re in a season of suffering right now.
The question is, are you willing to run to the only One who can bring you through it?
Or will you run from Him??
I assure you the first leads to a richer, fuller life. The latter will only lead to emptiness.
I once read somewhere that “for every marvel revealed by the bright light of day, there are a multitude more that can only be seen in darkness.”
It is true that there are some treasures that can only be revealed during times of hardship.
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
Instead of recoiling from the valley of shadows, will you allow me encourage you to embrace the suffering as an opportunity for growth.
Look for the treasures in the darkness, until HE becomes your greatest treasure!
Have you been made aware of any treasures hidden in the darkness?
Would you be willing to share?
Tell your story in the comments below.