While I patiently waited for a Spring cold snap to pass, I stored my impulsively bought bare root rose in my basement to keep her from becoming dehydrated in my toasty home until conditions are favorable for planting. As I took a load of laundry down into the chilly dark basement, I was surprised to see my new rose addition had quickly developed swollen leaf buds despite the dark and damp conditions. It was then while tossing in the laundry detergent, I pondered the often overlooked truth that our personal darkness – ya know the struggles, the hardships, and the issues of life can still be opportunities to grow. Within the garden of my life, my biggest revelations and more importantly, transformations have happened in my soul when I’ve been forced into the darkness. We usually don’t realize or want to realize God sometimes calls us INTO the darkness for our own benefit as I did for my infant rose. In fact, Isaiah 45 invites us to seek out treasures within the darkness and Psalm 139 tells us God is in both the light AND the darkness! So the next time you find yourself in dark and damp conditions, know that God has you there for a reason. It may be to protect you until conditions are more favorable. You could be like my little rose by considering the darkness an opportunity for growth!