In the cool dark recesses of the cupboard under the stairs, I carefully placed my newly potted bulb. My father made it clear that I was not to pull it back out into the light for a few months. At seven years old patience was not my strong suit, and I desperately wanted to take a peek after school each day. Instead, I took my red colored pencil and marked off another day on the calendar in the kitchen.
Eventually, my wait was rewarded. My father gave me permission to place the pot in a sunny window. Within a few weeks, gorgeous blooms burst forth! Months spent in the dark followed by sudden sunshine caused the bulb to believe spring had come early, and it was safe to bloom despite the outdoor frigid temperatures in our British garden.
Have you ever spent a season in the dark with the Lord?
Sometimes we spend time in the dark waiting.
Sometimes we spend time in the dark wondering.
Sometimes we spend time in the dark preparing.
Sometimes we spend time in the dark resting.
God may use a season in the dark with Him in order to prepare us to grow and bloom.
1 O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me, 2 lest like a lion they tear my soul apart, rending it in pieces, with none to deliver. (Psalm 7:1-2 ESV)
In the dark, God provides a refuge from evil.
While enemies might still be near at hand, God’s presence provides a safe harbor.
A place of refuge with God may cloak me in darkness to hide me from our enemies.
Days or weeks or months might slip by in this dark waiting place. All the while I sit in God’s presence away from the evil one who may prowl around like a roaring lion threatening to attack me. My dependence on God grows roots down into the soil of His word and His presence.
3 O Lord my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands, 4 if I have repaid my friend with evil or plundered my enemy without cause, 5 let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it, and let him trample my life to the ground and lay my glory in the dust. Selah (Psalm 7:3-5 ESV)
In the dark, guilt might try to hound my heart.
Unlike David, the palmist, I know I could never claim to have no wrong on my hands. It is only my relationship with Jesus that provides forgiveness for all my past, current, and future sins. In the dark, the light of forgiveness keeps me company.
In the dark, God may call me to examine all I have done or left undone.
I may need to repent of sins I lost track of. I can ask the Holy Spirit to search my heart for any hidden sin. Time spent in the dark with God is sowing into a season of growth.
6 Arise, O Lord, in your anger; lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies; awake for me; you have appointed a judgment. 7 Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you; over it return on high. (Psalm 7:6-7 ESV)
In the dark, I need God to work in my most difficult situations.
In the areas of my life where I am fearful and controlling, I might need time to realize how much more I need to surrender to God. It may take time before everyone (the assembly) can see how only God can set things right and bring true justice.
8 The Lord judges the peoples; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me. 9 Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous—you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God! (Psalm 7:8-9 ESV)
In the dark, the Lord may take a full inventory of my life.
He may call me to let go or take on new kingdom assignments in order that I might grow in ways He wants me to.
Lord, when you judge me, I know that you alone are my source of righteousness. I can only become “right with you” in our relationship. I am established in righteousness once and for all by the blood of Jesus.
10 My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. 11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. (Psalm 7:10-11 ESV)
In the dark, I give thanks to God.
I give thanks and worship because He is my refuge, shield, and strong tower, I can always run and hide in His presence.
12 If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; 13 he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts. (Psalm 7:12-13 ESV)
In the dark, God may reveal to me hidden sins.
In this world, it is far too easy to become comfortable with the presence of evil. I need time alone with God to discover anything that draws me away from Him. He may need to take his sharpened sword and remove what is not pleasing to Him for my good.
An evil man, who refuses to repent, will be destroyed by God. The judgment will be swift and accurate like an arrow.
14 Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. 15 He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. 16 His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends. (Psalm 7:14-16 ESV)
In the dark, God may reveal the wickedness of others.
He may even call me to draw healthy boundaries with those who seek evil who cross my path.
A wicked man becomes an incubator for mischief and lies. He gives birth to more and more deception. Ultimately all of this will end his life.
17 I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. (Psalm 7:17 ESV)
God’s righteousness does not dim with time but is eternally preserved in who He is. The Lord is the only source of righteousness, and He generously chooses to share it with those who trust in Him.
I will give thanks for seasons of my life spent in a dark refuge with my righteous savior. In due time, I will be brought back out into the light and beautiful blooms will burst forth for His glory.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.