"Joseph's master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him..." -Genesis 39:20-21
Do you know what a darkroom is? Darkrooms were used as one of the first methods of developing film. Wikipedia says of darkrooms: "From the initial development to the creation of prints, the darkroom process allows complete control over the medium."
Often when we begin on our walk with God, we have big ideas and big visions for what He wants to do with us. Somewhere down the line though, disappointment or circumstances get in our path, perhaps through no fault of our own. We can wonder what God is doing with us during these times. "But God," we might say, "I thought You wanted to do A, B, or C in my life!"
At this God invites us to wait on Him, to be still before Him and "wait" on what He is going to do.
This waiting place is not an idle place however; it is a place where we are to be faithful. Faithful in what? Faithful to God, in His truth. Faithful to develop our prayer life, even when it feels like a dry desert. Faithful to forgive others, and let Him purge sin out of our hearts. Faithful to seek Him, even when He seems far away. Faithful with our money, even when we don't have a lot. And faithful with our time and talents, even if we aren't getting many results in the moment.
We can't try to develop ourselves, or make the process go faster. Only God knows when we are ready. We learn to become secure in God, versus ourselves, our ambitions, money, intelligence, or other people. In order for a darkroom to work it's purpose, there cannot be any sunlight. God uses these places in our lives so that we will learn to trust Him fully, becoming more like Him.
Are you in a darkroom right now? Can you cite times when God was using a "darkroom" to develop you in ways you couldn't see at the moment? Let us not short-circuit God's processing, so we can be fully developed, and become everything He has called us to be. (James 1:4)