As I was going through my daily routine this morning, our house was noticeably darker than usual. Although we have lots of large windows, it was still pitch black outside around 6 o’clock. Typically, the sun is beginning to rise about that time, slowly brightening the rooms of our house.
This morning I made my way from the kitchen, through the dining room, into the far corner of the living room to turn on a lamp without actually being able to see a thing. I was pleasantly surprised when I turned on the lamp without tripping over a shoe or stubbing my toe on the furniture.
Thinking about it more, I realized the only reason I was able to navigate the house in the dark was because I’m so familiar with how it looks in the light. That’s not to say I could walk through the house in complete darkness without bumping into a single thing every time. An occasional bump is expected in the dark. But the better I know my way in the light, the more prepared I will be to walk it in darkness.
Sometimes our lives are full of sunshine. Things seem to be going our way. The diagnosis was good, the promotion was earned, the relationship was mended. Other seasons of life are noticeably darker than usual. Nothing seems to be going our way. The diagnosis was bad, the employment was terminated, the relationship was ended.
In both extremes – the great and the awful and everything in between – God remains the same. He’s just as faithful on the good days as He is on the bad days. By familiarizing ourselves more and more with the character of God and by growing in our knowledge of His promises, we are equipped to walk the path He has in store for us. When that path takes a turn deep into the dark woods, we can lean on the same God whose character was so evident in the light. When our circumstances are tough, we can call to mind what we already learned to be true on a better day.
My dining room table, my couch, and my lamp are always in the same place, so finding my way around them in the dark was no big deal. Yet how much more permanently established are the love, faithfulness, goodness, grace, and mercy of God? We can navigate the dark seasons of life because we know where the needed resources are found. Even more, we know Who dispenses those resources as He faithfully goes before us.