“And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness, secret riches; and you will know that I am doing this—I, the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by your name.” Isaiah 45:3 TLB
Have you ever known what it’s like to experience peace on all sides even in the midst of adversity? You are going through the same trials others are going through but you’re all in with God, so you know in your heart that regardless of what comes, your faith will not waver. You’re in your devotionals, in God’s word, listening to sermons, and all that jazz. So, you think you’re riding on through when suddenly and unexpectedly you’re sideswiped and thrown completely off the road and into this deep, dark, seemingly bottomless ditch. And it’s not something small either. The thing that hit you literally almost crushed you in a full on attempt to take you all the way out! This is exactly how I felt when I found out that the person with whom I was planning my forever was not planning for forever with me. My whole world had been sideswiped and thrown into this obscure and dark place.
I went through all these different phases (some I’m still going through). But one of the very first things I did was thank God for revelation. Though I didn’t like where I was or what I was going through, I thanked God for showing me what I needed to see. And, I wasn’t all spiritual about it; trust me, it was a quiet but sincere, humble ‘thank you’. Remember, I don’t like any of this so it was hard for me to rejoice in my trial but I knew that this couldn’t have been anything but God. You see, God warns me and prepares me for things in dreams. And, I had a dream a few days before about this exact matter. So, I was wholeheartedly grateful and I didn’t have to smile for God to see my heart. Then, one day as I was listening to a sermon, I heard the preacher say, “the Bible says God gives us gifts in dark places….” Let me tell you my entire perspective shifted! It was as if someone had turned a flashlight on that dark ditch and I could see what God was giving me – treasures.
One of the commentaries for the verse above says that, in those times, the kings of the East would hide their riches and treasures in obscure and secret places, and they would only be touched in cases of pressing necessity. But God had anointed Cyrus and given him a message that not only would He give him the treasures and secret riches of Babylon, but that by this Cyrus would know it was God who did it! You see, this past year I’ve been in more places of obscurity than I can count; but God has shown me that in those places, He was giving me gifts. Strength and healing in the dark place of pain. Grace in the dark place of betrayal. Courage in the dark place of uncertainty. Joy in the dark place of grief. Liberty in the dark place of my emotional distress. Community in the dark place of rejection. Truth in the dark place of exposed lies. Without these dark places, I couldn’t have uncovered these hidden riches – and only God could do that. Where I never would’ve thought…He gave me treasures.
And, how fitting that God gave me this insight right before we get to celebrate the greatest gift of Jesus. Without Jesus, I could never recognize or receive all these gifts God gave me even in those dimly lit pockets of my life, this year. Straight up, I’ve said it before and I will say it again – I would have easily lost my whole mind…had it not been for Jesus in my life. Thank You, God, for the gift of Jesus! Beloved, here is the encouragement I want to give you – that there are gifts, treasures stored in hidden places that we could never know unless we acknowledge the greatest gift of all. Is He your Lord and Savior? Because it is through Him and in Him that we can find those gifts in dark places. Whatever you are going through, whatever is your suffering, whatever hit you and possibly caused you to get derailed into a place of obscurity – there are gifts. Look for them, seek Him and He will reveal them to you.