It was dark outside my window at 5:00 in the morning. Charles’s truck was parked at the back but I couldn’t see it. There were lawn chairs, arranged in a friendly circle around a table, but they weren’t visible. I couldn’t see the outline of the barn roof or the loom of the cherry tree or the perky little “See Rock City” bird house. I couldn’t see the basketball goal or the bird bath huddling under a crepe myrtle tree. It was so dark I could hardly even see the sky. My own reflection stared back at me from my window.
I made a cup of coffee and sat down at the breakfast table. Outside that window, too, all was dark. I knew the Japanese magnolia was about to bloom in spite of the recent freeze. The hydrangea with browned blossoms was nearby. I knew that right outside the window a bird bath and feeder waited for the cardinals, titmouse, finches, and mourning doves. But right now, except for a car’s lights passing on the street, it was as if nothing was there.
In short minutes I began to notice the shape of the bird bath. The magnolia laced limbs against the lightening sky. A bird flew in making the bird feeder swing. Another sip of coffee and azaleas appeared, a corner of the carport angled out of the dimness. Heading to the porch, I could now see lawn chairs outside, the basketball goal, the gray driveway circling around azaleas and the mulberry tree.
The sky stained with rose and pearl became brighter and brighter beyond the reeds swaying gently in a breeze like dancers in total sync. Everything came into full color as if a black and white negative had been developed in a darkroom to become a vivid picture.
Everything–bird bath, basketball goal, trees and shrubs–had been there all the time. I knew they were there, but I couldn’t see them. They were all very much there, very real. But I couldn’t see them. Until daylight came.
This thought came to me: if everything were solidly there even though I couldn’t see the images, how much more the Lord is with me at every turn through the darkest nights and most confusing days. He is always working even when I grow impatient and feel as if He’s forgotten me.
Take courage, you who are walking through a dark time. God knows exactly where you are, whether or not you can see Him. He is at work all around us.
If I say surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. Psalm 139:11-12