“Destiny is not an instant click and upload” (Christine Caine)
Back in the day (and I might add, days I was a part of!), before photos could be taken and instantly circulated around the world, developing photos was a careful and detailed process. Photos were treasured and even shot with care as each film was restricted to the number of photos that could be taken. In Dark Rooms under a special red light, the development process was undertaken. No natural light was allowed in, which would destroy the fragile film. The film was transferred onto photography paper, immersed in various solutions and left to develop. Time and darkness were key, paramount to the successful development of a photo.
The times of obscurity, the times of seemingly little progress towards our dreams, are like this. Our own darkroom. It is our preparation time. Just like in Winter when the bareness of the branches suggest little growth and life, yet beneath the earth, the tree is using the time for its roots to go deeper. To grow stronger.
Joseph experienced this. He had the promise but he underwent time in his darkroom – in the pit and then the prison, before he emerged ready to lead Egypt. King David had to learn it. He was anointed King, but then went back to tending the sheep, serving his brothers lunch and later serving King Saul. He spent 20 years in obscurity, of being a King-in-waiting as God prepared him for kingship.
It’s hard not to want to burst out of the dark room prematurely. But rushing the process or trying to pre-empt the finish diminishes the quality of the photo. Abraham and Sarah did this and ended up with Ishmael. In these hidden times, where it seems to be just you and God, our character is developed, our spirit is strengthened. It is in these times, God prepares us for our destiny.
The quality of a developed photo is attributable to the time and care taken in the dark room. Those hidden times with God are valuable. Don’t despise your time in the dark room – God is preparing and perfecting you for what is ahead. Hang in there – soon enough the door will open.
And Remember – what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.
(Inspiration for this blog from Christine Caine’s book “Unstoppable” where she talks about the Dark Room and how God uses it to burn the light of Christ onto our lives. The book is an inspirational and challenging read!)