The Secret About Darkness
Have you ever had a moment you didn't think you would survive? Not necessarily a physical moment, it could be a heartbreak, tragedy, or a fight with depression. One of those moments you are overcome with the hard of life so you throw out a hail mary and beg for God's mercy. You cry out and say "If I just survive, I will ________ (fill in the blank)".
King Hezekiah was having one of those moments.
The scripture tells us it was the middle of his life, so probably thirties or forties according to most scholars. He was suffering a horrible illness - it sounded like a boil (that's disgusting, isn't it) - but Hezekiah was sure that he was going to die.
Now, let me back up right quick and assure you that this King was a good king. In fact, when Hezekiah prayed he said "Remember now, O Lord, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight." (Isaiah 38:3)
So this wasn't a situation where God struck him down with something to tip the scales one way or another like we often see in the Bible. No, in fact, I bet Hezekiah was even thinking that he didn't deserve this sickness. I bet he was thinking, King Ahab, he deserved to die like this. Or even, King Rehaboam, he definitely deserved something like this.
But Hezekiah? He had served the Lord graciously and with his whole heart - his words, y'all. He had sought out ways to bring God's people back to Him. He worked closely with Isaiah. He cried out on behalf of his people. Yet, he found himself knocking on death's door in the middle of his good life. In my estimation, he probably questioned God's fairness right about then.
I bet you have found yourself in a similar situation.
I, myself, can feel those familiar tears pricking my eyes as I write this, feeling a heartache I never deserved all over again. The fresh wave of grief strikes without warning, and I find myself in a new thick of sadness that feels just a painful as the first day of hurt. And I wonder, will I ever feel normal again? I ask the Lord, why are you letting this happen? The chill goes through my bones as the thought crosses my mind, Lord - do you even love me?
The great thing about scripture is that we get to see ourselves in it, right? Our particular situation may not be described or spelled out to a T, but certainly there is someone we can look to in order to recognize the nuggets of God's faithfulness in their lives. As I see the pattern in the Word, it is often that I look at my situation a bit differently and feel the Lord speak His goodness over my heartache once again.
But here, Hezekiah was healed.
And as you know all too well, I'm sure, this doesn't always happen. God doesn't always come in and save us from our heartache, He doesn't always heal the sick or rescue the poor and fix the injustices of the world.
Let me state the obvious about life, but the thing that Christians are often afraid to say out loud : it isn't always fair.
In this case, God promised Hezekiah fifteen more years of life, and the response he had was breathtaking. I encourage you to take a moment and read the passage in it's entirety, but let me highlight it for you :
"It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today; a father tells his sons about Your faithfulness. The Lord will surely save me; so we will play my songs on stringed instruments all the days of our life at the house of the Lord." (Isaiah 38:19, 20)
I am convinced that God saved Hezekiah so that he would in turn tell of God's faithfulness. He does the same for us.
When we find ourselves on the other side of that very thing we thought was too difficult to live through, we tell of His faithfulness.
When we find ourselves able to breathe again after walking through dark nights of depression and anxiety, we tell of His faithfulness.
When we are able to smile and laugh again after heartache and tragedy, we tell of His faithfulness.
And when we find ourselves in a dark spot all over again? We remember His faithfulness.
See how it comes full circle?
Darkness is not only for God's glory but it is also for our good.
It girds us up and builds our trust that the Lord will and can provide just as He has before.
If you find yourself broken today, if you are dealing with heartache that feels too great or darkness that just might swallow you up whole, can I encourage you today? Take a minute - right now - and remember God's previous faithfulness in your life. Write down those moments - even the itty bitty small ones - when He has proved Himself good and loving and kind to you.
Remember that feeling and hold onto it, absolutely knowing that He is sure to provide again.
WANT MORE? Read the whole story in Isaiah 38. Notice God's compassion and Hezekiah's willingness to surrender to God's ultimate plan. Are you ready to take your hands off and let God resume control?