A rock collector named Robert Cutshaw once found a rock he described as “big and pretty.” He tried to sell it, and when that failed, he kept the rock under his bed in the dark. Rob guessed the blue chunk of rock could bring as much as $500, but he would have taken less for it if an urgent bill needed paying. That’s how close he came to selling for a few hundred dollars what turned out to be the largest, most valuable sapphire ever found. The Blue Rock that Rob had once abandoned to the darkness — now known as the ”Star of David” sapphire — weighs nearly a pound and could easily sell for several million dollars.
Cutshaw’s story makes me wonder how many of us have a treasure hidden in the darkness of our lives and are unaware of its immense value. God wants not us to have full access to all His blessings and to the reward that He has already laid aside for us. The problem is that many of us are unaware of this treasure He has for us. We live in desperation, wondering when we are going to get a break, wondering when God’s finally going to come through for us.
So, how can we discover this fantastic treasure for ourselves and let God use it to take care of our needs? Sometimes, in order for God to meet a need, we must first plant a seed of faith. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:8, “We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair.” After all, it is in the darkness of life that God prepares us for his best.
It’s easy to trust God when everything is right, blessings are flowing, prayers are being answered, needs are being met. That’s the fun part of the faith. But sometimes, you have to trust God when you don’t see the benefits, the blessings, and all the frills of the faith. We can learn to trust God in the dark, when there is not clarity, when He becomes inscrutable. He is still faithful.
God never said the kingdom life would be easy. He just said it would be worth it. I remember how my father, living through difficult years of race relations in our nation, stayed focused on God’s Word rather than his circumstances. Even when he didn’t have work and our family struggled with poverty, he showed me what a man — a kingdom man — looks like. His legacy of faithfulness was forged during dark times.
The hardships you face can be distracting, even paralyzing. So I invite you to lift your eyes from your circumstances and focus them on our faithful God. His greatest treasures may be hidden in your present darkness.
Dr. Tony Evans is Senior Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship (Dallas, TX) and founder of The Urban Alternative, a worldwide media ministry. In 2019 Dr. Evans became the first African American in history to author a Study Bible (The Tony Evans Study Bible) as well as a one-volume Bible Commentary (The Tony Evans Bible Commentary). www.TonyEvans.org