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Imagine yourself in a dark room with no windows, a deep red light eminating from nowhere yet everywhere, a stillness in the air like you have never before felt. Your eyes adjust to the strange color in this room and you know there is great purpose here, but what? This is the place where the picture of your life gets fully developed.

The first job I ever had at the ripe age of 14 was working for an amazing couple in Ruston, LA after school and during summer at a photography studio. My very intellectual and inquisitive mind took in all of the details surrounding how a beautiful picture is exposed then developed from film onto paper in this elusive, exciting, mysterious dark room. It reminds me of the pictures of our lives. The things we wish for others to see. The reason we get dressed up and stand before a man behind a lens and show off our best features. We have a vision of the future but are not willing to be fully developed to reach it. We get so drawn in by the look of everything, by the feel, by the desire, but we forget that in all good things, there is a process to the promise. How do we so easily forget in our microwave world that things take time?

So many of us want what we want and we want it NOW. We desire to go from Point A to Point B with no suffering, no temptation, no misunderstanding…no patience…but that isn’t real. We desire the dream without the decisions that go with it.

Do we truly understand the Bible when it says:

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (James 1:2-4)

So come on! Don’t you see we need to be FULLY developed! It doesn’t say “if” trials come your way. It says “WHEN”.

What about this:

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

The gateway to LIFE eternal is very narrow and difficult. God never said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it!

In order to be fully developed and to see the beautiful picture we so desperately want to hang on our wall of glory instead of in our pit of shame, we are entrusted to the dark room. Patience is a beautiful virtue and the developing of a picture takes time. Stand there beside the One who took the portrait in the first place and allow Him to tell you when to open the door to show off your masterpiece. Beloved, don’t be afraid of the dark room that is inevitable. See it for what it can be and not for what it is!!