Treasures Hidden in the Darkness


"I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name." - Isaiah 45:3
"This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength,'…" - Isaiah 30:15a

In my last pastoral appointment, during cold and flu season, I came down with the trifecta: bronchitis, sinus infection and laryngitis. Ouch! It was awful, and I was down for a week. After that week, as I began to feel better, I thought, why is my voice not coming back...a tough thing for a preacher to endure!

For nearly two months, I was the whispering preacher. I couldn't preach, teach, work with children or youth, nothing! Nada! Eventually I could talk, but not without my voice quickly becoming hoarse and sore. And my spirit was troubled, because for two months I could not sing...something that nourishes my soul!

A friend and spiritual mentor emailed me a prayer to encourage me in my season of silence: "May God give you treasures hidden in the darkness."

I had not heard that expression before, but it spoke to my heart. I looked it up in the Bible and found it in Isaiah 45:3.

In Isaiah chapter 45, God is addressing the Persian King Cyrus. Even though Cyrus was a heathen king, he was serving God’s purposes to free the Israelites. The promise of "treasures hidden in the darkness" referred to gold and silver which had been buried underground. King Cyrus was driven by wealth, but God had another purpose. He wanted Cyrus to know that He was the Lord, the God of Israel, the One who called him by name.

Sometimes we think the treasures of life are earthly riches, pretty clothes, job promotions, awards, or in my case, a healthy voice. But perhaps an even more valuable treasure is knowing the all-powerful God of the universe is working in the darkness.

Now just because you know God is working doesn’t mean you won’t feel frustrated along the way. There were plenty of days I felt frustrated when I couldn’t talk. It was time-consuming to type out what I wanted to say instead of just saying, "Let’s leave in 10 minutes." I missed going to social gatherings and events since it’s hard to be with people without talking.

With my experience, I gained the treasure of empathy.

One day, trying to make light of the situation, I texted a friend, "Without me talking, the house has never been so quiet."

She texted back, "I need that! So I don’t have to hear Mom, Mom, Mom all day. It can be Dad, Dad, Dad!" I replied back, "You should try it!", jokingly.

There’s always something to laugh about — even in the darkness. When adjusting to an inconvenience, physical limitation or a relationship problem, we must look for things to be grateful for. There are secret riches to mine, such as truth, trust, and patience. Whatever you’re facing today, may it work out to bring glory to the God of Israel. He’s the One who brings hidden treasures to light.

What secret riches are hiding in your situation? The circumstances may be beyond your control, but they’re not beyond God’s. He can turn things around for your good. Usually, it just takes a little time.

Lord, thank You for working in my life, even in ways I don’t realize. Give me wisdom to see what You’re doing in the darkness. I place my trust and faith in You alone. I praise You for Your faithfulness and love for me. May those around me watch my life and know there is a God in heaven. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Jul 1 2018