“He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.” — Daniel 2:22
The Jewish sages often taught deep spiritual concepts by telling simple, easy-to-understand stories. This is one of them.
There was once a king who decided to visit a beloved commoner. He sent word to the man that he was coming to spend time with him and to please prepare for the visit. The commoner prepared everything as best as he could with his modest means. As a finishing touch he placed his cherished silver candlesticks on the table and lit two candles. Everything was set to perfection.
However, as the king approached with his entourage, the commoner noticed the incredible wealth the king possessed, including tens of beautiful silver lanterns filled with light. He became embarrassed by what he had to offer. Ashamed, he quickly hid the plates, candlesticks, and bedsheets that he had bought for the king.
When the king arrived, he quickly noticed that nothing was prepared for his visit. Confused, he asked the man, “Didn’t you get the message that I was coming and to prepare for my arrival?” The commoner explained that, indeed, he had but was ashamed at what he had to offer when the king was so accustomed to much greater luxuries.
The king replied, “It’s not my things that I want to enjoy when I come to visit you, but yours. It’s not my light I want, but yours.” The king had all his possessions hidden and explained, “I won’t use anything that belongs to me as long as I am here so that I may enjoy what you have to offer.”
This short story has a profound message. We read in the book of Daniel: “He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.” Sometimes, God will hide His light in order to reveal our light. God has all the light in the world, but He desires our light. When we don’t reveal it on our own, God will conceal His own light in order to bring out what He knows lies hidden within us.
Friends, when things seem dark in our lives, know that God is waiting for our light to shine forth. When the world seems darkened, God is hoping we’ll illuminate it. We never know how strong we have to be until we have no other choice. We never demonstrate unwavering faith until our faith is tested. We never know what treasures lie within us until we have no choice but to find them. God could do it all for us, but then we would never discover our own light.
Be encouraged today. If things seem dark, it’s because God is right there waiting for you to reveal your own magnificent light.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President