And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness--secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the One who calls you by name.
- Isaiah 45:3
2018 didn’t quite turn out how I thought it would.
Perhaps you can relate to that just a little, or perhaps you’re even nodding your head emphatically while saying, “Amen, sister!”
Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned at all this year, it’s that life doesn’t always turn out how you or I think it should. The plans we make don’t always happen in the way we would like or the dreams we so eagerly build in our hearts don’t always happen in the timing we had hoped for...maybe even at all.
But God also taught me in 2018 that it is okay when things turn out differently and that different...different doesn’t always mean less beautiful.
When the clock turned midnight a year ago and launched me into 2018, I wrote out this verse in Isaiah chapter 45, the one I’ve written above. I wrote it into my journal and told God that I wanted this verse to be my anthem for 2018.
Because let’s be honest...
When life doesn’t go how you or I plan, or when dreams crash and burn, or prayers go unanswered in the way we so desperately wanted, it can feel a little bit dark. Maybe even a whole lot dark.
I understood this, because my 2018 didn’t start out light and happy and bright in all the ways I’d hoped for. In fact, my 2018 started out the complete opposite.
For the first few months of the year I battled intense chronic pain--migraines, constant fatigue and muscle aches, stomach pain. It was worse than I had battled before. Then on top of that I received a “no” from God that crushed me. I had not expected this “no” in response to the prayers I had prayed for hours on end, asking for a simple “yes.” And it hurt. Then I lost a friendship that was very close to me and it hurt...more than I had ever expected it would.
In the middle of it all, I felt a darkness that I hadn’t felt before. Yes, 2018 definitely wasn’t turning out how I had expected at all.
Yet right there in the darkness, God gently pulled my heart back to this verse from Isaiah. This verse I had chosen to make my anthem for 2018. And through the months that kept flying by, He kept gently bringing it back to my thoughts.
Treasures hidden in darkness...secret riches.
I don’t always feel like searching for treasure when it is dark. I don’t always feel like looking for the secret riches. Maybe you don’t either.
But let me remind you of something, friend: There are some beautiful things that you can only see in the dark.
It reminds me of the stars--one of my favorite things. If there was never any darkness, I could never see them. For I can only see those beautiful, bright lights when they are speckled across a black canvas in the dark.
The stars remind me of the treasures God wants to give us in our darkness too. I think of the treasures and the riches and the beautiful gifts God gave me in 2018. I think of how He revealed Himself to me there more beautifully in the dark and how I learned more of His comfort and love than I ever would have otherwise.
Maybe your 2018 felt dark all year. Maybe you’re looking into 2019 and you’re wondering how in the world you’re going to make it because it just doesn’t feel any brighter.
Look for the stars in 2019, sweet soul.
He’s promised to give them to you. He’s promised you and me the treasures hidden in the darkness.
We just need to be brave enough to search for them.
1. In what ways did your 2018 turn out differently than you imagined it would?
2. In the middle of the things that didn’t go how you planned, can you look back and see the treasures God still wanted to give you there?
3. What is one way you can look for the stars in 2019?
Dear God, thank You for being with me through every moment of 2018. Thank You for being faithful to me and never leaving me. I believe that You have a good plan for my 2019 as well, even if it doesn’t turn out how I think it should. Help me to trust You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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