In years past, our family hosted several foreign exchange students. We loved those girls as our own and after their year with us we sent them back to their countries, never knowing whether we would see them again. Amazingly we have kept in touch. We have visited in their homes and they have returned to visit as well.
One of those girls stayed especially close and several times her family sent us a big box at Christmas time. It was full of all kinds of delightfully wrapped items: German chocolates, tree ornaments, candles and many other fun things. We look forward to the box, the surprise and the use of the gifts.
Imagine my surprise when I came across this quote from poet,
“Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.”
This is a box that I would not look forward to. This one would come to my door and I might try to refuse delivery. Darkness is never considered a gift.
But many of us have had darkness delivered through no fault of our own. This wretched shipment opened us up to pain, secrecy, anger, fear and shame, which often can become like clothes to wear and be embraced for a lifetime. In a desire to protect our hearts from that pain, we might have dug a hole deep down and buried it so no one would know.
But feelings buried have intensity and they can bubble up without notice and wreak havoc on a broken heart.
Pulling that black box out of the darkness and into the light is the only way to start dealing with the “gifts” it brought.
You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light.
2 Samuel 22:29
In the light of God’s illuminating truth, unwrapping those packages in the box of darkness can be seen for what they are. LIES. Exposing them to Truth brings great healing.
TRUTH: (from Ephesians)
Even though we would never open our arms to a box full of darkness, God can use this “gift” to enable us to seek His light and truth. Open up God’s Word to find this GREAT BOX of LOVE, along with the gifts of LIGHT and TRUTH.
Only then can the darkness we were given years ago be seen as gifts, ones that lead us to our Savior.