LES WAS A FOSSICKER
Les was a fossicker. He spent most the day digging fruitlessly among the rocks for amethysts. The clang of spades on rocks from other fossickers nearby sounded loud in the drowsy somnolence hanging over the scrub. Í know they are here somewhere, 'he said as he wipe sweat from his brow.
‘I might be onto something here,’ Les’s voice broke the quiet afternoon
Carefully he scraped away the dirt and was able to lift a huge crystal from its hiding place. It lay in his hand winking at him. His joy knew no bounds.
Somewhere in the long ago, the crystal had formed in a cataclysmic upheaval. It had lain hidden for countless eons, a treasure formed in the dark until Les found it. His joy knew no bounds.
Somewhere in the long ago, the crystal had formed in a cataclysmic upheaval. It had lain hidden for countless eons, a treasure formed in the dark until Les found it. Isaiah recorded the word of the Lord to Cyrus, ‘I will give you the treasures hidden in the darkness, secret riches; you will know that I am doing this – I the Lord God of Israel, The Lord found me the one who calls you by your name.’
I often wondered what this verse meant. It has slowly dawned over time that the treasure spoken of was learning to praise the Lord in all situations. Learning the power of intercessory prayer, learning to believe in God in the face of opposition, leaving behind grudges, forsaking pride embracing the humility of obedience. These attributes were formed like the crystal in dark times.
USING THE DARK EXPERIENCES
The dark experiences would have been less than rewarding if I had refused to co-operate with God. Selwyn Hughes writer of Every Day With Jesus, wrote, ‘The treasures of darkness are only found by those who dig – dig for meaning.’ What Selwyn meant was that life has many dark times of bitter disappointments and betrayals. But if we dig for meaning in these times, like Les, we will find rich treasure.
I searched those dark times for meaning and the riches that I found were Christ himself. A rich relationship with the Lord grew out of difficult circumstances
THE GREAT ONES
Milton, the great poet of his time, lived in a world of darkness, he was blind.
Despite that darkness he wrote immortal poetry. Likewise Fanny Crosby, also blind, wrote hundreds of hymns that are still sung today, precious crystals of praise and insights about the Lord. They learnt that in times of physical darkness and the darkness of circumstance, the person of the Lord is formed in them.
C.S. Lewis was devastated by the death of his wife. He described his feelings as though God had slammed a door in his face and double locked the door from the inside. Later, when his grief subsided he recognised that his walk with God plumbed new depths. Out of the darkness of grief he was able to write a book that gave hope and life to its readers – a treasure from a secret place.
Paul the apostle was no stranger to the dark places. From those places he wrote most of the New Testament. His writings have spanned 2000 years and are treasured and enriched by all who read.
INTO THE LIGHT
I may have been formed in the kingdom of darkness but I thank God that he searched for me and brought me out of that kingdom into the kingdom of light as Les the fossicker unearthed his crystal.
I can also praise God that he has taken me through the dark times so that I found the secret richness of him in my life. More and more over the years I can say with Paul, ‘We rejoice when we run into problems and trials for we know that they are good for us – they help us to learn to be patient.’