Did you know that there are at least 10 beautiful flowers that only bloom at night? One of those is the Red flare tropical water lily. I continue to be amazed and enamored by God’s creation. We can learn so much through nature. I was particularly struck by the oddity of flowers blooming at night. My innate instinct was to believe the Sun and daylight produce the most vibrant of colors, in most every living thing. Ah, but therein lies the dichotomy.
Is it possible that in the darkest moments, the greatest beauty can emerge? I’ve often thought about the refiners’ fire written about in the Bible. Silver is heated at immense temperatures to burn off all the impurities. But with that heat comes light, not darkness. Then again, it’s darkest right before the light.
The poem of St. John of the Cross, in 8 stanzas of 5 lines each, narrates the journey of the soul to mystical union with God. The journey is called “The Dark Night” in part because darkness represents the fact that the destination, God, is unknowable. Much the same may be said about our darkest moments in this life. They are simply unknowable. At least temporarily. Until brought into the light.
Often in darkness, something amazingly beautiful begins happening. We walk the journey of descent before we can enjoy the counterpart of ascent from the ashes of our brokenness.
God desires union with each of us. Oneness. Intimate fellowship. That may require darkness to settle into our lives. You could call it refinement or simply the “Dark Night of the Soul”. Embracing it is the key to healing and healing is the key to intimacy with God. Knowing that in the darkest times of our lives, when sin and the enemy of light seem to be winning, victory and freedom await us – just beyond the darkness.
I watched as my 36-year marriage dissolved right before my eyes. It meant coming face-to-face with one of the darkest moments of my life. When I questioned everything. After all of this – Why God? So much of who I was – wrapped up in a relationship – dissolved. Why am I even here if this is all there is? Heartbreak.
But God had other plans. The darkness gave way to light and I began to understand in a much greater way that my true-identity, purpose, and significance came from Him. My Creator. My Father. It’s hard to describe the freedom that comes from knowing it’s not about me. It’s not about performance or people-pleasing. It’s about healing the wounds that impacted so much of how I viewed myself and God. Taking my rightful place as His child. Once and for all. Knowing that I’m His favorite – and so are You.
Take hold friends. Embrace the brokenness. Embrace the darkness. In it, your beauty will be evident. Bloom right where you are. Freedom awaits.