We have all had times in our life when it would appear as if we are encompassed by darkness. In those moments, it seems increasingly more difficult to find the light. Challenging circumstances weigh us down, and we wonder if we will ever know joy again or feel the light of a new day.
Religious leader, Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “Even though we may feel lost in the midst of our circumstances, God promises the hope of his light. He promises to illuminate the way before us and show us the way out of darkness.” But when we are in darkness, how does God show us the way out? Uchtdorf goes on to say, “Spiritual light rarely comes to those who merely sit in darkness waiting for someone to flip a switch. It takes an act of faith to open our eyes to the light of Christ.”
It is through our faith that God shows us the way out of darkness. May I suggest five ways we can act upon our faith to find our way out of darkness?
When it rains, look for rainbows
How we overcome a trial is largely determined by how we look at it. If we look at a rainstorm as though it has ruined our day, it probably will. If we look at it thankful for the moisture and beauty it will bring to the Earth, we are more grateful because we can see the value in it. It is the same with our trials. If we see them in a negative way, joy will be hard to find, but if we can look for the good, even in the storms, those little pieces of goodness will bring us joy.
Recently, I started walking outside with my children. My son was not excited. As I prayed to help him have a more positive attitude, the answer came in the song of a bird. I explained to my son that birds fly everywhere they go. They find their own food, and build their own homes, yet they never complain. Instead, they sing. I asked him to discover on our walk what it was that made his heart sing. After that day, my son no longer complained about it. Although it’s still hard for him, he is at peace with it because he has found a happy place, his rainbow in the rain, where his heart can sing. When trials come, find what makes your heart sing and choose to be happy there.
When it’s midnight, search for stars
In the middle of the night, when all is dark, God in his infinite wisdom has given us the answer to all of our questions. Where do we look to for answers and for light? The answer to that question is up. As we see the brightness of the stars covering the shroud of night’s darkness, we realize that they are God’s calling card reminding us to look up and look to him. When darkness surrounds us, prayer is our ability to communicate with our Heavenly Father and receive the light and hope we need to endure the difficulties that surround us. Always keep a prayer in your heart and you will find peace.
When in a room filled with darkness, a lit candle instantly brings comfort and warmth. The flame dispels the darkness and a warm glow radiates throughout the area. The light not only dispels the darkness, it reflects in the eyes and faces of those who are closest to the flame. The Spirit of Heavenly Father is very much like the candle. It brings comfort and warmth, dispels darkness, radiates throughout the area, and is reflected in the eyes and faces of those who are closest to its source. As we read the scriptures, we gain that Spirit and we are better able to overcome our difficulties. Prayer is our ability to communicate with God and reading scriptures is one way God can communicate back to us. Take time to read the scriptures and you’ll find answers to your prayers.
On a stormy sea, find a lighthouse
A lighthouse is a symbol of strength and perseverance despite the storms. It stands strong and sure, able to withstand the winds and rain that threaten to destroy it. There are people all around you who have weathered the storm that you are weathering at this very moment. Let them be a strength to you and draw hope from their light. We are not alone on this earth. We are all connected so that we can help and serve one another. Don’t be afraid to counsel with others. Let them be your lighthouse so that one day, you may be that lighthouse for someone else. There are other places of light that you can also draw strength from in the time of a storm. Attending your church, temple or mosque can bring great light. Finding sources of light will keep you out of darkness.
In a darkened mine, dig for diamonds
Even in a cave, the darkest of places, God has placed items that can bring small glimmers of light. Diamonds and crystals can be found throughout those darkened places, reminding us that even in the darkest of circumstances, there is light. If you feel that you are in a place where the darkness is so thick you cannot escape it, remember this: A diamond is a highly valued precious stone, yet it is found in one of the darkest places on earth. When it is precisely cut, it reflects the light brilliantly and shines for all the world to admire. That is what your trials are doing for you. Each trial, or cut that is made, will allow you to shine more brilliantly until you are filled with light. Dig deep and find Christ’s love within you and follow his light out of darkness.