“I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness- secret riches. I will do this so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.” Isaiah 45:3
When I first discovered these words, they gave me hope. Coming at a time when I felt trapped in darkness- of facing up to things that had been kept hidden, that I felt could never be spoken aloud, that had been hidden even from myself- they were a flicker of light in the darkness.
There were days when it felt I was being plunged into darkness- that all of a sudden a switch would be flicked inside me and my light, my life, my hope would be extinguished. It never became full-blown depression- it would last for a few days at a time and gradually the light would be restored- but it would happen with no warning, it was something I couldn’t control and it was becoming more frequent.
This verse encouraged me to seek God in it all. It gave me hope that there could be a purpose, that God could use it for good, that there were treasures hidden there that could be found, if I was willing to seek.
And there were. Amazing treasures. Sometimes they were well hidden and it took a long time to discover them, but there were many treasures waiting to be found, so many lessons I learned from this time of darkness:
- How much I needed God- that I couldn’t depend on success or achievement or other people or my own abilities but that I needed him.
- To depend on God’s strength when I felt I had none of my own.
- To be honest with God- realising that nothing is hidden from him, and that he would accept me even in my mess and brokenness.
- To trust in his unchanging truth, rather than my roller-coaster of emotions.
- To open up to others and be honest when things were difficult.
- Compassion to walk with others through their times of darkness.
- That no matter how deep the darkness, God’s light is stronger.
The second part of the verse sums it up: “I will do this so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.” Knowing who God is and knowing how he sees me are the two greatest treasures hidden in the darkness.
Whatever darkness you may be facing, there are treasures to be found. That doesn’t mean it will be quick or easy, but they are there. As Selwyn Hughes put it: “God will never allow us to be surrounded by darkness without handling us a pick so that we can dig for treasure.”