I’ve been thinking more about good coming out of darkness today, because God can and will use any situation to bless His people. As I’ve reminded others since my stepsister died, St. Paul tells us in Romans 8:28 that “[W]e know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” It’s nearly impossible right now to see or imagine how that might happen when a baby stays and his mother goes on, so we must make the difficult choice to trust – sometimes one tiny moment to the next.
Just a couple years ago, when two events linked up in a timely way, I saw them as nifty “coincidences.” I’ll never forget that powerful moment in my Bible study when I told a story and called it a “coincidence,” and my group leader, a woman of great and gentle faith looked me straight in the eye and said in the most tender way, “I don’t believe in coincidences.” I felt convicted, and it changed my point of view from that very moment on.
So – goodness and darkness. Timely events. How does this fit into my life today? How does death fit into the wild cacophony of my blessed life? A husband I deeply love. A marriage that has endured enough to let us know that we CAN endure – together. Three healthy, happy kids. Good relationships with our families. Deep, abiding, heart friendships I can count on. It’s not a perfect life, but it’s definitely, abundantly, overwhelmingly blessed. We have scheduling problems because of the blessings.
Our beagle barks upstairs. Kids play loudly, laughing outside my door. Why now, Lord? What do you want me to learn in sadness? In darkness? Is there beauty in this tragedy, even now? Right now?
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb…
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
— Psalm 139: 11-13, 17
I consider again the bats of yesterday. Many fly about in the darkness not seeing at all. Yet their needs are met with resources provided for them through the infinite beauty of God’s design. They have both instinctual and natural assistance which create opportunities for their nourishment and growth every night. In literal darkness, God has a plan for them, and complete control of their lives. There is nothing hidden from God.
Therefore, in my life, I can trust that God has nothing malevolent hidden for me in my current darkness. He only allows it. He could turn on the lights anytime He wants. And he wants me to draw closer to him, to trust Him more in the midst of it. My Creator knows my innermost being down to a sub-molecular level. And as I have read and understood as Truth: “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) Let this be retraced again and again onto my bruised heart.