Does it ever seem as though things are going all wrong? Your doctor tells you what you did not want to hear; something happens to a loved one; an unexpected bill shows up in the mail and was due two days ago. The list could go on and on. The question is what do we do during such times?
There is an interesting verse in Isaiah 50:10-11. It reads, “Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God. Look, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with sparks: Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled – This you shall have from My hand: You shall lie down in torment.”
At first glance this seems to be a harsh rebuke. But upon closer inspection, it is nothing of the sort. God is speaking to people who are in a spiritually dark valley. He describes them as one who “walks in darkness and has no light.” He does give them a warning, but the warning is to trust in Him and wait for Him to act on their behalf.
When He says, “Look all you who kindle a fire,” He is referring to people who attempt to take matters into their own hands. These are the “fixers”… those who believe they have the ability, wisdom, and resources to get themselves out of the valley. They are attempting to break the darkness with their own efforts at making light (a spark).
The contrast, then, is between such people and those who wait upon the Lord. The implication is that the one who waits upon the Lord will eventually walk in the true light, which is a far greater light than the measly little “spark” we can generate through our own efforts.
If we seek to walk by our own efforts, all we can expect is more uncertainty, suffering, and hardship. God describes such a person as the one “who will lie down in torment.” The point is that our efforts cannot relieve our distress. A person who does not wait on the Lord will not experience the deliverance they seek. God will allow us to act on our behalf – if for no other reason than we learn that our little sparks of effort are nothing compared to His immeasurable and powerful light.
The point is that we should never become impatient when we seem to be in a dark valley. Our great God and Savior knows all our needs. Instead of taking matters into our own hands, we are encouraged to trust in the name of our Lord and rely upon our God. Sometimes that can be the most difficult thing to do; but according to this verse, it is the wisest thing we can do.
I am sure we can all think of a time when we attempted to “fix” a bad situation and made it worse. That’s exactly what the Lord is encouraging us not to do. My “fixes” become my “torment.” But His light becomes my salvation.
Walking with God is not for the faint of heart! It can be hard to wait upon the Lord, but it is always worth it! The next time you are in the dark attempting to make pitiful little sparks, remember this great promise:
“But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).