Dark Room Development
By Sharon Elliott
In my senior year of high school, I worked on yearbook staff and was editor of one of the sections of the volume. Our student photographers on staff not only took the pictures, but developed them right there at the school in our darkroom. Using only the illumination of a special red light, the film would be transferred somehow to the paper and then the paper would be dipped in several different trays holding chemical solutions. As the photos were moved from tray to tray, the image began to emerge. The process took a considerable amount of time and care and seemed almost magical.
Understandably, our teacher and those photographers would get quite upset if someone opened the dark room door while they worked. Too much light would flood in and mess up every piece of film on which they had been painstakingly laboring. More than those pictures would be ruined. All the money for the film and the time those photographers had logged on their assignments had been a waste. Deadlines for getting the yearbook pages designed were pushed back without those photos. And supposed those pictures had been of the miraculous catch that won the homecoming game, the photo-finish at the swim meet, or the principal’s surprise 50th birthday party thrown by the whole school? The photographic memories of those events could never again be recaptured. The darkness of that dark room made the proper development of those pictures possible so that everything else necessary to produce a memorable yearbook could happen.
God allows dark rooms to develop us. When we are experiencing the darknesses of financial reversals, failures, job losses, strenuous challenges, sicknesses, disappointments, loneliness, separations, and deaths; we need to look at things through the “red” of the blood of Jesus. Like the photographers, wait patiently inside the dark room and watch as God takes time and care to develop the picture of your life that He’s taken. Don’t rush through any of the stages; endure every “chemical.” Only when the process is complete will you be fully developed. You’ll only be ready for use on just the right “pages” of life when His image emerges through you.
Be encouraged by the following verses of Scripture as you face your dark rooms:
Romans 5:3-5 – Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (NIV)
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)
Hebrews 12:6 and 11 – For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (NKJ)
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Live a life that matters! That's Sharon's encouragement to all her readers. Find her blog, books, and contact information through her website at sanewriter.wordpress.com.
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