I recently watched a video of Avery Dixon, a young saxophonist at the auditions for America’s Got Talent. His story was so inspiring and his performance so moving that the host, Terry Crews crashed the judges' feedback and pressed the golden buzzer! Total tears for me (surprise, surprise). During his early school days, he was bullied for his voice and appearance to the point of wanting to commit suicide, but he found solace in learning to play the saxophone. Look at where it got him! Out of his dark place, his musical talent was shaped. It propelled his life in an unexpected and positive direction.
Similar to Avery, there are so many “dark places” that we encounter along our life’s journey. But there’s one dark place that absolutely floored me, which all of us will relate to. Do you know what it is?
To quote Barbara Brown Taylor: “life starts in the dark.”
I thought this statement was so profound. The fact that you’re reading this blog post right now testifies that you made it through a dark place before you even knew what it meant to overcome or prevail. Wow! It shifted my entire perspective. With that, there are three things that I want to share with you about darkness and dark seasons of life, with the hope to encourage and inspire you. Let’s dig in.
It Might Be Dark to Us, but It Is Not Dark to God
In Psalm 139:11-12 (NIV), David expresses:
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
We serve a God who is not daunted by darkness because He has perfect vision. Darkness is as light to Him. So we can have complete confidence that He will carry us through every period of confusion, pain and despair. We might not be able to see through what is happening, but He does - every time. We are safe.
Some Things Must Happen in Secret
Some things are not ready to be revealed to those who are excited to see our demise. Using stories from the Bible, when Yochebed gave birth to Moses, she kept him hidden from Pharaoh when he decreed that all Hebrew boys should be killed. He later became the vessel of deliverance for the Israelites. When Esther went to the palace, Mordecai instructed her to keep her identity a secret, because of wicked men like Haman. She revealed her identity at a precise moment with the king, and became an instrument of deliverance for the Israelites, just like Moses.
We must be aware that there are always Pharaohs and Hamans within our midst, who are set on destroying the purpose and destiny God placed within us. If we are destroyed, a whole generation can be impacted. So when God hides us away from public view in dark places for a season, we can trust that God has a greater plan--not only for us, but for all those who will hear our testimony.
There are Treasures in the Darkness
Isaiah prophesied about King Cyrus years before he was even born. He would later become the Persian king responsible for decreeing that the children of Israel could leave Babylon and return to Jerusalem. In Isaiah 45:3 (NLT), God made a promise to him:
"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 verse tells us that there are treasures hidden in the darkness! There are precious things that we can only grasp in the dark. Let us never again waste our season. When we’re in a dark place, let us begin to see the possibilities. We can ask ourselves, ‘What is being birthed here?’ We can pray, 'Lord, grant unto me the treasures hidden in my current darkness.' God wastes nothing. Let's follow His lead.
My prayer is that your faith will soar to new heights as you embrace this word. Out of dark places, books were written, ministries started, hidden talents discovered, sins washed, and souls saved. Remember Avery's story. Every dark place is only a season.
What will you do with yours?
Project Manager & Managing Editor, VBD Magazine
Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor