I've been thinking about Joseph. The one with all those brothers, notorious. You know, that guy who was betrayed by his own kin. Bargained for into slavery by the same. And then, after a reprieve of grace, was broadsided by, well, a broad, and sent to prison.
In a very real sense, those were his cell-mates: deception, haggling and the unanticipated. That's what he had to live with, deal with. One big pile of hurt. The darkness of doors slammed on hope and home.
And this is what I've found most startling: "But while Joseph was there in prison, The Lord was with him; He showed him kindness and granted him favor." Genesis 30:20-21
When Joseph was in the worst situation possible, far from compassion or help, that is where God shows up. And blesses. Pours out His kindness. Right there, in the shadows of hurt, unendurable.
And that is where I find my own hope. And courage, in the dark. When my plans are bargained away by sickness. Or I am broadsided by events, unexpected. When sorrow carries me into the gloom of what-ifs and if-onlys. It is there, in the dim, that I can find God. In the closed up and cut off. In the I-can't-believe-it, and this-can't-be-happening. In the unexpected and the unbearable. That is exactly where God is.
Because really? Light shines brightest, in the dark.