Learning in the Darkness

"And I will girt thee the treasures of darkness." Isaiah 45:3

    When God made this promise to Cyrus, He was speaking of material treasures from lands of darkness that Cyrus would conquer. But we are not doing violence to the verse when we take it and apply it in a spiritual sense.

    There are treasures that are discovered in the dark nights of life that are never found in days of unrelieved sunshine.

    For instance, God can give songs in the darkest night (Job 35:10) that would never have been sung if life were completely devoid of trials. That is why the poet wrote:

And many a rapturous minstrel among
    those sons of Light
Will say of his sweetest music "I
    learned it in the night;"
And many a rolling anthem that fills
    the Father's home
Sobbed out its first rehearsal in the
    shade of a darkened room.

    There is the darkness of what J. Stuart Holden calls "life's inexplicable mysteries - the calamities, the catastrophes, the sudden and unexpected experiences which have come into life, and which all our forethought has not been sufficient to ward off; and life is dark because of them - sorrow, loss, disappointment, injustice, misconception of motive, slander." These are often the things that make life dark.

    Humanly speaking, none of us would choose this darkness, and yet its benefits are incalculable. Leslie Weatherhead wrote, "Like all men, I love and prefer the sunny uplands of experience, when health, happiness and success abound, but I have teamed far more about God and life and myself in the darkness of fear and failure than I have ever learned in the sunshine. There are such things as the treasures of darkness. The darkness, thank God, passes. But what one learns in the darkness, one possesses for ever."