“Wow! You can see the Milky Way from here! Check it out!” my son exclaimed as we gazed upward.

Last week my sons and I were able to get away for a couple of days to a cabin in Arkansas. After darkness fell, we went outside the cabin to look at the stars.

It was simply amazing. Stars stretched across the heavens above us—thousands of brilliantly-shining points of light. It was breathtakingly beautiful.

Although we don’t live in a big city, our little Ozark town has too much light for us to see the stars clearly. We might see a few, but they are dim due to the streetlights.

But out there in the darkness of the Ozark mountains, the stars shone like a million diamonds against the inky blackness.

As we stood there in the darkness, I began thinking about the dark times in my life, and how clearly the love and grace of God shone in those times. I don’t enjoy the dark times, but those times are always when I see God the most clearly.

In the darkness of losing my marriage, I saw the light of His love more brightly than I ever had before.

In the darkness of searching for a job and a place to live, I experienced the shining light of His wisdom and guidance.

In the darkness of being a single mom—something I never thought I’d have to face—I saw the shining light of His comfort.

Although I wouldn’t have chosen any of these things, I’m so thankful for the way they pushed me into the arms of Jesus. I’m grateful that the darkness caused the brilliance of God’s light to shine in my life.

Have you ever considered the fact that without darkness, we wouldn’t know light? Without sadness, we wouldn’t know joy? Without cold, we wouldn’t know warmth? Without loss, we wouldn’t know gain?

In I Samuel 2, we find a prayer of joyous celebration. (Words in parenthesis are from footnotes in my study Bible, explaining terms which might not be familiar in today’s language.)

“And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn (strength) is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over (smiles at) mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.

There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none besides thee; neither is there any rock like our God.” {I Samuel 2:13}

Why was Hannah so wonderfully joyous? Why did she pour out her heart in praise to God?

Because she had been in deep grief and despair, and God heard her plea for help. She desperately longed for a son, and was so heartsick that when she prayed, the priest who watched her thought she was drunk.

And then God answered, and sent the son she prayed for. Her joy practically explodes in her prayers of praise to God.

Would she have been so incredibly thankful had she not experienced that deep grief, that period of longing and seeking?

Her deep joy sprang from a deep heartache.

And so it is with us. No, we don’t enjoy the darkness, but that’s when we see the light of God’s love the brightest. No, we don’t enjoy the cold, but that’s when we feel the warmth of God’s comfort the most.

My friend, if you are in a season of darkness, look for the shining light of God’s love.

If you seek Him, you will find Him.

His light always shines brightest in the dark.


“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” {Jeremiah 29:13}

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” {John 8:12}







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