When God blesses you, get ready for the complainers who think He should have blessed them instead – or at least as much as you. When a dispute arose about which of the twelve tribes should lead Israel, God told Moses to have each tribal leader write his name on his staff and place it overnight in the tabernacle. Then God said, ‘The man I have chosen…buds will grow on his rod! Then at last this murmuring and complaining against you will stop!’ (Numbers 17:5 TLB). Imagine an old stick with no roots or sap blossoming in the dark! The truth is, faith can’t grow without hardship; it must incubate in the darkness of adversity. There is a stage at which you don’t even know you have been chosen by God; only He knows. He told Jeremiah, ‘Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.’ Before you were a beep on a monitor, God had plans for you. The reason you didn’t die on the operating table or in that car accident is because God had His hand on you. Furthermore, He didn’t choose you because you’re so virtuous and wonderful. No, ‘He chose what the world thinks is unimportant…so that no one can brag’ (1 Corinthians 1:28-29 NCV). When God created the heavens and the earth, the Bible says, ‘Darkness covered the face of the deep’ (Genesis 1:2 NRSV). Then God spoke and said, ‘Let there be lights…And it was so’ (Genesis 1:14-15 NIV). And today God can bring light out of your darkness and hope out of your despair. He is not intimidated by the darkness – it’s where He does some of His best work!