The discipline of heeding
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light; and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:27.
At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God’s hand until we learn to hear Him. “What I tell you in darkness”—watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there, keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet. If you open your mouth in the dark, you will talk in the wrong mood: darkness is the time to listen. Don’t talk to other people about it; don’t read books to find out the reason of the darkness, but listen and heed. If you talk to other people, you cannot hear what God is saying. When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.
After every time of darkness there comes a mixture of delight and humiliation (if there is delight only, I question whether we have heard God at all), delight in hearing God speak, but chiefly humiliation—‘What a long time I was in hearing that! How slow I have been in understanding that! And yet God has been saying it all these days and weeks.’ Now He gives you the gift of humiliation which brings the softness of heart that will always listen to God now.