‘“At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed him. Songbirds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God’s hand until we learn to hear him.…Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God?…When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light” (Oswald Chambers).
Gotta love some Oswald Chambers. He may not have lived a long life, but he left behind a legacy of devotional writings that still have a profound impact on so many decades after his death. He was not one to mince words or make Christianity all about being nice and comfortable.
Sometimes, God allows us to wander through the valley of the shadow of death. It could be literal in the sense of the death of a loved one or a serious illness. Or it could be a kind of spiritual dark night of the soul where you learn not to rely on your senses or feelings and grow a deeper and more abiding trust in God.
The reality is that Jesus said that we would suffer. There’s no way around it. It’s not a question of if but when. As much as my flesh doesn’t like the idea, it’s not in the sunshine and mountaintops where we grow and flourish, but in those valleys and dark places. That’s where God grows us up and teaches us valuable lessons that we can share with others when they go through their own valleys and darkness.
I can’t recommend My Utmost for His Highest enough. It’s a fantastic devotional if you’re looking for daily readings that will challenge as well as comfort you.