A lot of us might be feeling like we are alone in the darkness right now.
"Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on their God." Isaiah 50:10
"I will give you hidden treasures,
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
It's more important to be with Him in the darkness than to try and figure it out.
We live by promises, not by explanations.
How to navigate through the darkness:
1. Rely on God.
It isn't about reasons. It is more important to say "Here I am, God" rather than, "Why, God?"
God gets a lot of work done in the valleys.
This blessing of being challenged in the dark -- God is using it as a tool. God uses it. God gives examples in nature on how to deal with dark times, with "winter."
(Here, Jane talks about decidious trees and how the process of dropping their leaves in the fall protects them for the winter. Also why evergreen trees bend their branches downward is mentioned -- really, listen to the recording -- you'll be glad you did).
God's producing steadfastness in us. Challenges were necessary to prepare you for bigger challenges. The more challenges we get the more we rely on Him.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a]whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." James 1:2-3
Clay and pot process:
baptism in water first step.
Kneading -- second step. Clay has to surrender to potter's hand, get maleable.
Being thrown and shaped on wheel is third step. Here the clay gets its permanent shape.
It looks done but it needs to be fired and glazed and fired again. Fire finishes us. Sometimes the object will be fired a third time -- the firing solidifies and brings out the beauty and its usefulness.
A great example in scripture of God's children not waiting on Him, trying to get out of the darkness quicker is Abraham and Sarah getting a child by Hagar. They ran out of patience. We need to be careful about doing it ourselves -- getting ahead of God. We can really make a mess of things for us and others.
We seek for reasons. Instead, seek God.
3. God uses trials to prepare us to work with others.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
"The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountainin the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper."1 Kings 19:11-12