Our Treasure in the Darkness by Kim Suchta
I remember the first time I saw them sitting in church together. She was tall and had a simple beauty about her. He was a smart and quiet man, and was shorter than she was. Yet, the one thing I remember most about him was how he looked at her. His adoration for her was obvious. And it encouraged my heart every time I saw him look at her that way.
We got to know Sarah and Adam well throughout that decade we went to church together. They hosted our small group for a few years. And we watched them welcome a little girl into the world. Beautiful Naomi. She was as smart as her dad and looked just like him, too. I could never figure out how the looks of a stout and rugged gentleman could be seen in the face of a darling little girl, but that's God.
It was a shock to all of us when Adam was diagnosed with stomach cancer. And even more of a shock to find out how serious it was and what little time he had left. He was in the midst of intense chemotherapy treatments when Christmas rolled around. And that meant they all would have to stay home from Christmas services that year.
As I was getting the kids ready that Christmas Eve I was thinking about them and an idea hit me. I called Sarah and asked her, “Let's Face Time during the service!” And she agreed we should try it.
As we arrived at church I took a seat in the very front row so they could see and hear everything clearly. I opened up my iPad and called them as the service began. I sat there the entire time watching Sarah and Naomi looking into the screen as they watched and listened. Once in awhile the connection would get blurry. And I prayed, “Lord, please keep us connected!”
At the end of the service it was always the church's tradition to darken the room and for everyone to light candles and sing “Silent Night” together. When the last candle was lit I stood up and faced the congregation. And as we all sang, I scanned the room slowly so Sarah and Naomi could see the beauty of it all.
Watching the tears roll down Sarah's face and the wide eyes of Naomi peering into the screen is a moment God has etched in my heart. I remember thinking, “If they were only here.” I knew they weren't seeing the full beauty of that moment as the screen often blurred. And it made me wonder what I don't see? For now I see dimly. Now I know only in part.
The death of Adam was just one of many losses for us that would come that next year. Only a few months later we would watch my sister say goodbye to her husband as well. Leaving her with three small boys to raise. And we would have to say goodbye to the church family that we loved and served alongside for over a decade long. It seemed our world that was once filled with so much light and purity and promise, suddenly went dark. And now felt ugly. And confusing. And unrecognizable.
Recently Sarah and I were texting each other. This year will be Naomi's second Christmas without her dad. And so Sarah was sharing with me the struggles she is having as the Christmas season begins again. As we spoke, she said something that convicted me immediately. She said,
“I am watching eagerly for how the Lord is going to carry me through it all.”
I repeated her words to myself, “Watching eagerly...” And was struck by the amount of faith in those two words.
I knew I was struggling to find the faith that she had. How could it be possible that I “watch eagerly” for the Lord in this world filled with such ugly things as death and betrayal and abuse and pain? I was too fearful to watch. Too sad to be eager. Too beaten down to believe that God was really for me.
But then I remembered the words of Isaiah:
"I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. (Isaiah 45:3)
And I remembered the place God the Father chose for his Son to be born. He deserved a birth of honor. But instead he was placed in a filthy manger. He could have stayed in his perfect heaven, filled with light. But instead he chose to enter this dark world.
He could have left me alone in my darkness. To deal with the ugliness of my sin and suffering. But instead he took my sin and shame upon himself and carried it for me. All the way to the cross. He was betrayed. And abused. And suffered unspeakable pain. And then would die. For me. To redeem my life. And bring me into the light. His light. And give me a new heart. And a new name.
This Christmas I thank God for my friend, Sarah. I know she has seen things from the Lord that I have yet to see. And so I have chosen to sit down beside her in the darkness as she waits for her Treasure to come again. Our Treasure.
The Word made flesh. Emmanuel. God with us. God with me. The God who calls me by name.
My Treasure in the darkness.
May we all watch eagerly for him this Christmas.
Kim Suchta has been coming to Sovereign Grace Church since February of 2016. She is married to her husband Mark. They have five children, from college age to elementary school. When she isn't sitting at a kid's basketball game, wresting meet, or band concert, she has found herself advocating for and mentoring abuse victims. It is her passion to see hurting people feel known and be empowered by the love of Christ. She also enjoys painting, decorating, and interior design. You can read more of her writing at kimberleykayblog.wordpress.com.
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