I've been looking at "dark" seasons incorrectly. There are blessings in the dark.

Questions to consider:

  • If we turn away from a dark valley by doing everything we can to avoid it because there is simply no telling what it contains, are we running away from God?
  • If God wanted to give you something good would you accept it, even if it came through a season of unknown, stretching, discomfort, or difficulty? 

On those bright peaks, we experience certainty, blessing, feeling close to God, hearing from God, knowing our purpose, "Mountaintop" experiences with God, success, doors opening, health, and wealth. We seek these times, value them and call them good. In the dark valleys, we experience uncertainty, feeling distant from God, not hearing from God, not knowing our purpose, failure, doors closing, sickness, and financial struggle. We avoid these seasons, view them as being bad. But the peak is the shortest part of any climb- you're up there for a little while, enjoying the view and experiencing the ephoria of having made it, taking selfies and celebrating. You're not learning much, but you're enjoying the view. The longest, most challenging part of the climb is the ascent; the summit to the top is dangerous. It's where you learn and grow the most and your mettle is tested.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

Darkness has a bad rap. There are a hundred direct references to darkness in the Bible, and they're all bad- the locusts that darken the land, the people who grope in the dark without light. But if you're in a dark valley, you're in good company! Jesus is in a darkened garden before he goes to the cross, and darkness was often the setting for humanity’s closest encounters God:

  • Jacob's dreams about a ladder to heaven happen at night
  • Jacob wrestles with the angel all night
  • Joseph dreams prophetic dreams at night
  • The Exodus happens at night
  • God parts the Red Sea at night
  • Manna falls from the sky in the wilderness at night 
  • God speaks to Moses in a dense cloud
  • Shepherds are alerted of Jesus' birth at night
  • Jesus is resurrected in the darkness of a cave

"I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my trust in him."
Isaiah 8:17

What I learned about walking in the dark:

  • I started off wondering where He was because I couldn't see Him... but then I realized that He could see me.
  • God said and taught me more in the dark than I ever learned on a mountaintop experience with Him.
  • Louis Giglio says, "there are no preachers in heaven." Who am I when my profession, skills, accolades, and everything else that's totally irrelevant in heaven are stripped away?
  • I don't have answers, but I have peace knowing how deeply I'm loved.
  • When I couldn't find joy in the people and things on this earth, I realized He was jealous for my affection. He wanted me to find my joy in Him.