Armed with only a whip and a chair, the lion trainer stepped onto the stage where he locked himself inside a cage with several restless Bengal tigers. The audience watched quietly as he shouted commands and forced the irritable lions to jump through hoops and perform tricks. His discipline over the tigers was entertaining, but midway through his act a power failure left everyone in darkness.
The audience seemed to hold their breath as the trainer’s cracking whip and shouts to the tigers punctuated the auditorium darkness. Finally, the power returned and the lights lit up the stage. The trainer quickly exited the cage to safety. During an interview, he admitted he’d been afraid while trapped in the dark with the tigers. Yet, he went on to explain, “I just kept cracking my whip and talking to them until the lights came on. And they never knew I could not see them as well as they could see me.”  The lion trainer’s confidence was not only admirable, but more importantly, pretending everything was under control during the darkness likely saved his life.
Christians also experience situations when life’s path grows dark and obscure. During these times, we usually don’t understand what is taking place around us. Our fear escalates because, like a roaring lion, Satan attempts to intimidate us. Dark periods challenge our faith, and may cause us to wonder if God is even aware of our difficulties.
Although we may not understand the reason God allows the darkness, our best strategy is to follow the lion trainer’s example and continue working as if nothing is wrong. To fret and worry creates confusion, but confidence and faith increases clarity. We can’t always control our situations, but we can control our response, and that is important to God. At the proper time, He’ll shine His light on our problem and guide us to safety. When He does, we’ll be grateful we responded with faith and confidence. Remember, we’re more interested in what God can do for us during dark times, but He’s more interested in what He can do within us.
 Page 205 Illustrations Unlimited, Editor, James S. Hewett
Tyndale House, Publishers, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois Copyright 1988