Isaiah 50:10-11 “Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.”
Confusion. Unresolved differences. Problems with no apparent solutions. Don’t we all, at one time or another, feel like we’re in a dark room with no light switch? Such times threaten to undo us. They undermine our fragile faith and pour gasoline on our smoldering doubts. Most importantly, they tempt us to move our reliance from God to what we deem to be a much more reliable source…..ourselves.
I remember one time when our son was younger. I had planned to serve a special dessert at halftime while we were watching the Super Bowl. Josiah was so excited about it that he kept coming from the TV into the kitchen to see if it was ready, even though I assured him it wouldn’t be served until the half. Finally, in exasperation I asked, “Don’t you trust me?” His response was telling…
“I can’t trust you when I don’t see you.”
Sometimes I’m not much different when it comes to waiting on God’s timing. I may not be running back and forth from the family room to the kitchen, but my thoughts run in all kinds of directions. It’s because I refuse to wait, to trust in a God I can’t see. So I try to “light my own fire.” I frantically strive to stir up the embers of my understanding, hoping to provide myself with the “flaming torch” of insight. I end up as the one Isaiah described…I lie down in torment (or a least sleepless nights of tossing and turning).
I’m not saying that the search for understanding is wrong. It is the “glory of kings to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2 ). But we cross a line when we shift from “acknowledging [God] in all our ways” to “leaning on our own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). It reflects, probably more than anything, our need to be in control. When we don’t know the whats and whys of our circumstance, we definitely do not feel in control. So we strike what we hope will be a match that delivers us from the darkness of uncertainty.
I don’t want to do that anymore. I’ve decided that I would rather be with God in the darkness than without him in the light. How about you?