Girlfriends in God - Nov. 2, 2010

November 2, 2010 

Treasures of Darkness

Mary Southerland 

Today's Truth
Isaiah 45:3 "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name."

Friend to Friend
I love a great movie. To me, a movie is only great - no matter what any movie critic says or how many stars the film is granted - when good wins over evil, the right guy gets the right girl, nobody gets hurt and everyone lives happily ever after. A bit naive, I know, but I have decided that there is enough harsh reality traipsing through my daily life without paying to see more on a movie screen. When I sit down in that cushy theatre seat, popcorn and soda in hand, I want happy endings.

With these criteria in mind, I went to see the movie, "Sea Biscuit." God has a way of wrapping remarkable truths in unremarkable circumstances. There I was; munching and sipping away, minding my own business and enjoying my brief respite from the real world, when his words echoed through the movie theatre and slammed into my soul.

"You don't throw a whole life away just because it's a little banged up," he said. I was done. I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the movie but those simple words were written just for me and lingered long after the movie's credits scrolled across the movie screen. We are all "banged up a little" by life. I know what it feels like to be broken and in pain. And I do not like it - a fact that seems meaningless when it comes to facing and dealing with tough experiences in my life. The hits just keep coming. I have a choice to make. I can embrace the pain and brokenness in my life and learn from it or I can surrender to the darkness and hide - and hope it all goes away. Trust me, girlfriend. It doesn't.

In "A Farewell to Arms," Ernest Hemingway writes, "The world breaks everyone and many are strong at the broken places." Jesus says it this way, "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name" (Isaiah 45:3).

Wow! The truth of this verse rocks my world. Don't miss it! God has gone before us and buried a treasure in every problem and stored rich truths in every minute of darkness we will face. The only way we can discover that treasure is to embrace the problem as an opportunity to trust God and uncover a new seed of victory. Some things cannot be learned in the light - they are treasures of the darkness. 

Let's Pray 
Father, my heart is broken and it seems very dark. I don't understand what You are doing in my life. The darkness is very real and filled with more questions than answers. And I don't like it! But I love You, Lord, so I choose trust instead of fear and faith instead of doubt. Lord, please fill each broken place in my heart with Your mercy and Your grace. Today, I choose You.

In Jesus' name,


Now it's Your Turn 

God has changed my life through the truths of Psalm 40:1-3.

Psalm 40:1-3 "I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." 

Read and memorize Psalm 40:1-3. 

Write it in your journal. 

Circle the action words. Which ones apply to you? Which ones apply to God? 

Write this verse in your own words as your prayer to God. 

Choose to praise God today as you look for the treasures waiting for you in each trial you are facing.  

More from the Girlfriends
The approaching holidays may be a difficult time for you or for someone in your family that struggles with depression. I encourage you to read my book, Hope in the Midst of Depression. I have been in that dark pit and know what it is like to long for just a sliver of light. The good news is that there really is hope and a way out of that pit. But there are also treasures to be found in the midst of that darkness.

Join women from across the world in Mary's Online Bible Study, When an Ordinary Woman Meets an Extraordinary God. If you enroll now, you will also have access to all of the 2010 studies. But hurry! This offer ends soon! Check it out!

Need a friend? Connect with me on Facebook or through email. Someone needs to hear your story! Let's talk! 

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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

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Originally published Tuesday, 02 November 2010.