We were on a holiday at the shore for Thanksgiving when I realized the quiet beauty of darkness. I am usually one to seek the light: watch it as the soft sun illuminates seagulls’ feathers silver as they soar above waves—watch it when the clouds hover pink and lavender and blue over horizon—watch it when the grey-green tide greets the shore in steady, rumbling rhythm— and give thanks for it when the path to the sea is lined with cheerful, yellow wildflowers.
But as the sun dashed beneath the sea that night, I sat by the shore and prayed. Slowly the wind picked up, wrapped its cold arms around me, reminded me: God is as near in the darkness as He is in the light. The dark times are when I cling to God closer, listen harder, learn the most. They are the times I clutch the flashlight and can see only one step at a time, fully reliant on the Light to lead. And so I prayed: I am thankful for both day and darkness: for the day when the sea glows sapphire and for the night when the sun sets beneath it. I am thankful for the darkness because only then can I see the stars, thousands and thousands of them, climbing a silver ladder into twilight sky. The dark paths, they’ll come. The dark times, they’ll arise. And they’re opportunities to grow, to persevere, to press in, to let the Light see you through.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”