Many poets and writers use the concept of darkness or night to describe the absolute worst of times. In the darkness of night, we can only guess what’s happening. Our eyes provide our main intake for information. With them, we better understand our world. They enable us to admire, appreciate, and observe our surroundings but also help us spot possible threats. We feel helpless in the dark because we can’t rely on sight. Figuratively, we can’t see the reason or purpose for our pain, we began to fear and that’s our worst enemy. The darkness can be meant to harm us, but that’s when also a setup to receive a blessing we never had. It’s within the darkness of night we strain to find strength, direction and hope through areas we’ve never explored, using resources we may seldom use. Don’t worry, God doesn’t leave us there, he uses it as a setup for him to show up.
Weeping may endure for a night, But [a]joy comes in the morning.Psalm 30:5
The Set Up
The inspiration for this post came from Daniel 2. Daniel’s setup starts with powerful King Nebuchadnezzar having a dream. Nebuchadnezzar decided he’d no longer going to reveal his dream; his Wisemen had to tell him what he dreamt and then the interpretation. If they couldn’t describe his dream and give it meaning, they would die. These men tried to talk him out of it with every sense of logic. Then they finally presented the setup for God to show up. They told the king that only the gods know his dream and they don’t live among humans (Our God does), which made the king even angrier. The soldiers began to hunt and gather all of the wise men, including Daniel, for an “off with their heads moment” or Lion munchies. The perfect setups are often orchestrated through the hardest, most impossible situations.
11 What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.”Daniel 2:11
Pushed Into A Corner
The head of the king’s guard approached Daniel to carry out the king’s death sentence. Daniel responded with wisdom and tact. (We need a good dose of that online today, don’t we?) We don’t know what was going through Daniel’s head. He didn’t know the dream but was accustomed to operating in God’s gift of interpreting dreams. Daniel probably looked at his chances and thought, if he did nothing, he’d die, or he could step out and trust God to do something new. It looked dark for Daniel and his friends. He couldn’t see the future, and if God didn’t reveal himself, they’d all die. However, Daniel was going to go down swinging. When we are faced with a dark and impossible-looking situation, it feels that we are pushed into a corner. It might be the perfect opportunity to step out in faith.
17 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.Daniel 2: 17-18
The Desperate Plea
When we’re facing our darkness, especially in life or death situations, we call on our family and friends for help and support. Daniel didn’t just call on his friends to share his sorrow but join him in prayer. He urged them to pray and plead for mercy from God. A life or death situation provides a gift of courage, mostly because we have no choice but it’s there. It opens our spiritual eyes (that we don’t often rely on). It reveals our true helplessness and desperate need for his mercy. During chemo, I was at that point. It became crystal clear that I needed his mercy. Life and death were riding on Daniel’s supernatural sight. While the darkness comes and we close our eyes, we call on and trust in the only thing that can get us through. This opens our special sight to God’s mighty love as he answers our desperate pleas.
19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heavenDaniel 2:19
Miracles in the Night
We stand in the dark, unable to use the tools that normally work, and there appears to be no way out. Those deep and desperate nights provide the perfect setup for us to see God’s love, faithfulness, and power clearly. That’s what God did with Daniel, and he still does it every day. Our part is to ask for mercy and be open to God moving in ways we’ve never experienced. You might be experiencing an overwhelming situation that you don’t have the strength to face. Your trial might be so dark you can’t see, but know that it’s the perfect setup for our spiritual eyes to see for our desperate souls to receive the love and comfort of God. In the morning, we will rejoice, but we will never forget God’s power and love during the darkest night of our lives. Pray with me.
Even though I walk through the [sunless] [a]valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.Psalm 23:4
Lord, I thank you for every person reading this today. I ask for your great mercy upon them and their situation. God, I thank you that you often reveal yourself within the darkness, during the night when everything looks hopeless. Allow our spiritual eyes to open and see you, your mercy, and your might and ways I’ve never known. Help us all to turn to you and see that you’re faithful during the darkest nights of our lives, and like Daniel, in the morning, we will give you the praise.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39