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Treasures of Darkness

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Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
Isaiah 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

Friend to Friend
I love a great movie. To me, a movie is only great — no matter what any movie critic says or how many stars the film is granted — when good wins over evil, the right guy gets the right girl, nobody gets hurt and everyone lives happily ever after. A bit naive, I know, but I have decided that there is enough harsh reality traipsing through my daily life without paying to see more on a movie screen. When I sit down in that cushy theatre seat, popcorn and soda in hand, I want happy endings.

With these criteria in mind, I went to see the movie, “Seabiscuit.” God has a way of wrapping remarkable truths in unremarkable circumstances. There I was, munching and sipping away, minding my own business and enjoying my brief respite from the real world when his words echoed through the movie theater and slammed into my soul.

“You don’t throw a whole life away just because it’s a little banged up,” he said. I was done. I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the movie, but those simple words were written just for me and lingered long after the movie’s credits scrolled across the movie screen. We are all “banged up a little” by life. I know what it feels like to be broken and in pain. And I do not like it – a fact that seems meaningless when it comes to facing and dealing with tough experiences in my life. The hits just keep coming. I have a choice to make. I can embrace the pain and brokenness in my life and learn from it, or I can surrender to the darkness and hide – and hope it all goes away. Trust me, girlfriend. It doesn’t.

Our son, Jered, played football all the way through college. Over the years, he endured several injuries, but as a junior in high school, Jered experienced his first surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot. The orthopedic doctor explained exactly what he would do during surgery. “First of all, I will remove the scar tissue that has formed around the break. I will then insert a metal screw to connect the broken bones.” As he spoke, I was comforted by my mind’s depiction of a shiny thin and smooth metal screw resting gently in my son’s foot. There are times when ignorance is a blessing.

The surgery went well and after two weeks, I took Jered in for a follow-up visit during which his foot was once again X-rayed to make sure it was healing properly. The doctor walked in, smiling and waving an X-ray in his hand. “Your foot is healing beautifully,” he announced with great pride. Curious, I asked the doctor if we could see the X-ray. When he slapped it up against the light board, I was horrified to see a thick, long metal bolt. In fact, on closer examination, I was certain the beginnings of rust could be seen on that barbaric screw jammed up into my son’s precious bone.

Seeing the look on my face, the doctor assured me that everything was fine. I was far from convinced and had a few questions that needed answering – immediately. “Is that screw supposed to look like that or did you put the wrong screw in my son’s foot? Will he be able to play football? Will his foot hurt when it rains? Will that enormous screw set off airport security detectors? Will Jered’s foot ever be as strong as it was before the surgery?” I asked. The doctor listened patiently, smiled and said, “Well, now that you mention it, I need to be honest and tell you Jered’s foot will not be as strong as it was before.” The evil doctor then grinned and said, “It will actually be stronger.”

In “A Farewell to Arms,” Ernest Hemingway writes, “The world breaks everyone and many are strong at the broken places.” Jesus says it this way, “I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name” (Isaiah 45:3).

Wow! The truth of this verse rocks my world. Don’t miss it! God has gone before us and buried a treasure in every problem and stored rich truths in every minute of darkness we will face. The only way we can discover that treasure is to embrace the problem as an opportunity to trust God and uncover a new seed of victory. Some things cannot be learned in the light – they are treasures of the darkness.

Let’s Pray
Father, my heart is broken, and it seems very dark. I don’t understand what You are doing in my life. The darkness is very real and filled with more questions than answers. And I don’t like it! But I love You, Lord, so I choose trust instead of fear and faith instead of doubt. Lord, please fill each broken place in my heart with Your mercy and Your grace. Today, I choose You. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
God has changed my life through the truths of Psalm 40:1-3.

Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”

  • Read and memorize Psalm 40:1-3.
  • Write it in your journal.
  • Circle the action words. Which ones apply to you? Which ones apply to God?
  • Write this verse in your own words as your prayer to God.
  • Choose to praise God today as you look for the treasures waiting for you in each trial you are facing.

More from the Girlfriends
When our lives are broken, it is easier to fall into the pit of depression. If you or someone you love is dealing with depression, get Mary’s book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, and learn how to be set free from the darkness.

Looking for a Bible Study? Check out Mary’s weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey and learn how to deal with the anger in your life. (Join now and have access to all lessons covered in 2012 including a study on the armor of God, how to tame your tongue and how to live a balanced life.) Be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.

13 Responses

  1. Carole says:

    Thank you for these words of encouragement. I prayed that prayer just for me.

  2. Lisa M says:

    Thank you Mary! God uses GiG to bring timely messages to bless this life He allows me to live. Truly blessed!!!

  3. Brooke says:

    Just what I needed to read and pray over today…thank you! The Lord led me here this morning on a search for an online devotional. What a blessed place I’ve landed in!

  4. Britney says:

    My mom shared this with me. This was a beautiful read and I WILL share as well! Continue to be a blessing while using your gift to write words that enlighten and encourage. Many thanks from the heart!

  5. Judy says:

    Thank you Mary! I needed a reminder that this life is a treasure hunt. God has something in store for me in every situation He allows to come to me. He hears, knows and cares about me and I must trust and glean what I can from the trials and test. Thank God He knows the beginning, middle and end of the circumstance!

  6. Ileana says:

    Thank You girl, i love your devotionals.

  7. Dawn says:

    Really needed this today! Blessings to you:)

  8. Judy says:

    This is exactly what I needed for today. Going through a heart breaking divorce. I prayed the prayer for me also! Thank you and God bless.

  9. Tonya says:

    This was very encouraging. I’m at a point in my life where I still feel like I’m at square one. But I know if I continue to trust and patiently wait to hear from The Lord everything will work out,

  10. Lola Onigbinde says:

    Even d darkest nights are classrooms where Jesus teaches us all about his promises…….

  11. Becca McKinney says:

    It has been 4 months since I lost my brother, sister-in-law (good friend), and 15 year old niece in a terrible car accident. Thank you for these words of encouragement that I will carry with me throughout the holiday season–the first without my family. God will see me through.

  12. Donna Little says:

    Mary, I just want to thank you for your wise words. I can’t tell you how many times your devotional has spoken to me. For some reason I reall connect with you. Love and blessings!

  13. Leslie Waldrop says:

    Thank you so much for this devotional as well as all of the others you ladies post! This verse is so precious to me!

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