Darkest Before Dawn

"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."
Hebrews 10:36 (NIV)

I grew up on a remote bush mission station in the Democratic Republic of Congo. My favorite time of the day was when the first layer of dusk would settle over our house. I knew that I would soon hear the roar of the diesel generator which would allow the light switch in my bedroom to work. The happiest part of my day was spent in the evening hours when we would be able to listen to our record player (I know that I am dating myself!) and I would not have to use a flashlight or candle to see where I was going.

It seemed to me that the three hours of light during the evening zoomed by, followed by a very long night before I would be able to see again. I would hear my father's footsteps as he passed my upstairs' bedroom window to cut the power from the generator for the night. I would race to take out my candle and matches and count the steps it took to get from the edge of my bed to my desk where I placed them. I would mentally take a last look around my room before the darkness swallowed it up, wanting to remember how everything looked in the light. And then I would hear the generator sputter and cough and give out as the light faded into inky blackness.

There is something about darkness that makes me forget what I have heard and seen in the light. Cares and concerns are much more intense in the darkness when the brilliance of the sun shining on them is missing. What might only be a passing thought during the day can become exaggerated and horribly disproportionate when I can't see what is around me.

My darling friend, are you in the dark? Has the darkness of your circumstances surrounded you for so long that you are beginning to wonder if the promises He spoke to you through His Word still exist? It is always darkest before dawn--just before the light breaks through. You and I cannot let go and give up. There is too much at stake. The barren place we have been in will turn into a proving ground if we persevere through this time of blind faith. Our God is the One who gives us treasures of darkness and riches stored in secret places so that you and I may know that He is God. Hold on, my dear friend, hold on! The dawn may be just around the corner!

Jesus, my darkness is not darkness to You. You are light. Give me the courage to persevere so that I can receive what You have promised me.