Monday, September 21, 2020

When Darkness Abounds - Martin Wiles

Darkness is all around me; thick, impenetrable darkness is everywhere.
Job 23:17 NLT

He needed no flashlight—and feared nothing. I did.

My first job after graduating high school was with Orkin Exterminating Company working under houses. Doing so wasn’t a pleasant experience. Broken sewer lines, snakes, snake skins, low areas, protruding nails, spiders, junk. I saw it all.

An older gentleman trained me. What amazed me about him was he never used his flashlight when he went underneath a house—until he reached the area where work was needed. Me, on the other hand? I used mine before I ever stuck my head under the house. It wasn’t so much the darkness that bothered me, but what I knew could be in the darkness. I wanted light.

Darkness surrounded Job. Because of a test between God and Satan concerning why Job obeyed God, Job had lost everything but his life—and that hung in the balance. Family, real estate, servants. All gone. Except for a wife who told him to curse God and die, which he refused to do.

Dark periods punctuate life’s journey. Death, disease, pain, brokenness, rebellion, unforgiveness, financial ruin. Whatever the darkness, someone … many people … have experienced it. And we don’t always know the purpose. Job didn’t. He didn’t know God had given Satan permission to ruin his life just to prove Job would remain faithful to God—regardless of how terrible things became.

But there is purpose. Fate does not rule the world—or our lives. God controls our journey and allows or brings certain things to grow us spiritually, to test our faithfulness, and to teach us things about ourselves we need to know.

What we need in the dark periods is light. Light brought an entirely new perspective to my under-the-house experiences. And the light of Christ does the same for dark periods. Through gut-wrenching prayer, intense periods of meditation on God’s Word, and the counsel of spiritually mature friends, light shines into our dark periods.

As the old man plunged under the houses with no light, so we can plunge into our dark periods with confidence God will bring good from them. Job did. He said, “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last” (19:25).

Darkness may surround you, but remember God provides the light that will get you through each day.

Prayer: Father, give us light in our dark periods so our faith and trust in You will grow.

Tweetable: Whom do you trust when darkness abounds?

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