It’s the Christmas season — a time of joy, hope, and lots of twinkling lights. During this season those who are in a dark place can notice the darkness more than the light. Jesus came to be the light. “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12) This morning I read a devotional and then heard a commentary about being in the darkness. I think we hear messages in multitudes when we need to hear them. I’m sharing a portion of both message here.
When you are in a pit, and it is so dark that the only time rays of sunlight filter into your prison is at high noon, you don’t play games with God. You don’t tell him what a nice person you are, or how much you have done for His cause. You go one-on-one with God, pleading your case, asking Him to intervene for you.
Today—at least in most civilized countries of the world—we no longer take people and place them in pits, but in ancient days, it was done. You may remember the Old Testament story of Joseph who angered his brothers, who then cast him into a pit and later sold him into slavery. Old Jeremiah was cast into a slime pit when his prophecies angered the king (See Jeremiah 38). Go to the remains of the House of Caiaphas, the high priest who condemned Jesus, and at St. Peter’s in Gallicantu, as it is now known, you will see a kind of pit, a hollowed out limestone cavern where Jesus was kept while the council of the Sanhedrin was summoned.
The pits that we often find ourselves in today are more psychological—depression, anger, inadequacy, worry, addiction—something that you just can’t break out of, something that keeps you in darkness, something which you feel has swallowed you and from which you will never escape.
In the famous lace shops of Brussels, there are certain rooms devoted to the spinning of the finest and most delicate patterns. These rooms are altogether darkened, save for a light from one very small window, which falls directly upon the pattern. There is only one spinner in the room, and he sits where the narrow stream of light falls upon the threads of his weaving. “Thus,” we are told by the guide, “do we secure our choicest products. Lace is always more delicately and beautifully woven when the worker himself is in the dark and only his pattern is in the light.”
May it not be the same with us in our weaving? Sometimes it is very dark. We cannot understand what we are doing. We do not see the web we are weaving. We are not able to discover any beauty, any possible good in our experience. Yet if we are faithful and fail not and faint not, we shall some day know that the most exquisite work of all our life was done in those days when it was so dark.
If you are in the deep shadows because of some strange, mysterious providence, do not be afraid. Simply go on in faith and love, never doubting. God is watching, and He will bring good and beauty out of all your pain and tears. “Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.” (Isaiah 60:20)