Surprised in the Darkness
by Kim Jones
I found God in the darkness. Or, to be more accurate, God found me— and I wasn’t even looking for Him!
There’s no doubt I was in a desperate situation. I had no answers and absolutely no escape. But because I was an atheist, it never occurred to me to look to God for solutions. My heart wavered between despair and desperation, but even more troubling was the fact that I couldn’t get away from the gnawing sense that someone or something was trying to get my attention.
As it turns out, several friends had been praying for me. They weren’t prayer giants. In fact, they were all new to their faith. They simply were asking God to somehow intervene and introduce Himself to their struggling friend. They not only prayed but through their acts of kindness and genuine concern, they began to lovingly and gently show me a picture I had never seen before—a picture of who God was. (Unfortunately, a few other “friends” assaulted me with Bible verses and pointed out all of my shortcomings, which was a really bad idea that set me back a few months.)
In my more gracious and gentle friends, I saw something that was missing in my own life—something I wanted. But in my mind, God didn’t exist, so I couldn’t understand that a relationship with Him was what set my friends apart. God understood my confusion, and in His mercy, He tracked me down until I could deny Him no longer. His overwhelming love pursued me through the darkness until I could resist Him no longer.
I know that everyone’s journey from darkness to light, everyone’s discovery of treasure, is different. God knows exactly what it will take to get our attention. Like a good Daddy, He’ll pull out all the stops to make sure we don’t miss Him, especially when we need Him most. That’s where you, as a friend or loved one of someone who is wandering in the darkness of suffering, can make a difference. You can be the friend who is gracious and gentle in demonstrating the love of God. You can be the one who prays for your friend who is struggling to find God in the darkness.
Asing God to Reveal His Treasure
Whenever you pray for friends or loved ones who are struggling to find treasure in the darkness, you can ask God to:
- Draw them to Himself. No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him (John 6:44).
- Surround them with believers. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields (Matthew 9:38 NLT).
- Help them understand who God is. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better (Ephesians 1:17).
- Give them a hunger for God. O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water (Psalm 63:1).