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Developing in the Dark Room

What’s developed in the dark will shine in the light.

Everything in life goes through a process. A baby grows in their mother’s womb, a seed is planted in the soil, and diamonds are made from the pressure found deep within the Earth’s core. What is common in these three examples? They are all very dark and isolated places. I have come to learn that God develops our character and purpose in that very same manner – within the darkroom. But you have to remember: What’s developed in the dark will shine in the light.

Beginning with the photo booth in 1890 to today’s modern instant picture taking, photography has always been important to us. Though the process has gotten easier over time, if you were born before the year 2000 you may remember the classic disposable camera. This device was before smart phones and allowed you to take up to 27 pictures and remove the film which took time to be developed. This process is very different than the seconds it takes to snap a selfie and post it. Immediate gratification and results is what the world is now accustomed to; however, God does not process us that way. Just like the disposable camera, He gives us a picture vision and purpose for our life that is slowly developed and cultivated over time in the dark room.

Snapshot Vision

Vision is defined as: “a specific goal or outcome for the future that is not yet fully realized in your present.” Everyone was created for a purpose. Before you were born, God placed skills and talents inside of you for the divine motive of accomplishing a unique Earthly task. Whether you realize it or not, your personality, interests, and strengths all point toward this divine purpose. For example, a business CEO may have shown signs of leadership, innovation, and good communication long before they ever started a company. God reveals His vision for our life through our dreams, hopes, and desires. But just like the camera, though this picture of the future may be clear to us, we cannot grasp that reality yet. Preparation is always required for the promise.


Photographers begin the picture development process by taking the film into a darkroom to remove the ‘negatives’. In a similar way, before we can accomplish our goals and reach our vision for our lives, we must first enter the dark room of life where our negatives are removed. Know that growth and development is never comfortable – hence the phrase: growing pains. Before we can hold a newborn baby, smell a beautiful flower, or flaunt a diamond ring, they have to be cultivated in the dark. When we find ourselves in God’s darkroom of development, it is easy to believe that we’ve been forgotten and our dream will never become reality. Your darkroom may be working at a job when you desire to be a CEO or living single when you desire a healthy marriage. Either way, there are somethings that God has to create in us in isolation before we can be seen by the public. The character, knowledge and skills required to hold your vision has to be evolved over time.

The length time we spend in the dark room is variable and you cannot rush this process. Photographers know that pictures are light sensitive and if they are exposed to natural light too early, the picture will be overexposed. Similarly, when we try to rush our development to be seen or noticed by the world, we risk walking into opportunities where our character cannot sustain us. What good is it to get noticed quickly only for your success to be fleeting? God’s timing is perfect, and He knows when you are fully prepared and capable to obtain the promise you are praying for.


As we pass through trials, sorrow, frustration, and disappointment, we are ultimately molded into the person we were created to become all along. Only after this process are we ready to be displayed in the light. After photos are taken through several processes, it is hung up to dry for all to see. When your gifts and talents are finally exposed, you look back and realize that all of the troubles had to happen. Exposure is your opportunity to share your story to encourage others like yourself. We are never brought to the forefront for our own validation. Every test is meant to become a testimony to show others that though you may have been walking through the fire, you can come out on the other side not smelling like smoke.

Bringing it Home: My dark room process to get into medical school has lasted five years. During that time, I faced many setbacks and delays that tried to discourage me that I would never accomplish my dream. Many times, I felt like I wasn’t getting any closer to what I wanted. Was waiting on God fun? Absolutely not. However, through this process my character, talents, and desires have evolved, and I now understand that hindsight truly is 2020 (too soon? Lol). Every obstacle I’ve faced was intentional and has prepared me for the plans and vision God has for me. Don’t be discouraged in your darkroom development phase. The time is coming for you to walk into all that is yours and when it happens, you will understand how life’s pressure has made you into a diamond.

Job 23:10 – ‘But He knows the way that I take; and when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.’

Galatians 6:9 – ‘And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.’

Know & Grow:

  • What step of the development process are you in?

o Discovering your purpose & vision

o Processing in the darkroom

o Displaying your gifts and talents to the world

  • How do you remain encouraged when your dreams for your life look nothing like your current reality?

  • In what ways have your tried to rush the process of your development?


Lord, I pray that you strengthen and sustain us when we are experiencing growing pains and the world around us seems dark. I ask that you remind us of your faithfulness and keep us focused on your promises during the hard times. I declare that we will endure and not be discouraged when we face trials, setbacks and delays, but will overcome and emerge as pure gold. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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