The music had ended, but the heart of the young princess still danced with delight as the memories of the beautiful ball swirled within her. The music, her dress, the flattering compliments, the food, the company, the laughter, everything had been perfect. Not wanting the evening to end, she lingered in the ballroom watching the servants clean away the last morsels of tasty delights and carefully put the silver back into the cloth pouches. Humming and watching, she didn’t notice the King approach until He stood beside her.
“You had a good evening,” He said.
“Oh, yes! The best possible evening!” she answered.
“Now it is time to go. You must move on.”
“But why? Isn't this everything you promised! It is so beautiful here. The music may have stopped, but I can still hear it. Listen!”
He smiled down at her. “That is good. Then you can take it with you, But if you are someday to be a queen, you must know all the rooms of the palace. Come. It is time to go.”
Reluctantly she followed, but as he opened the large iron door, she gasped. All that presented itself was darkness—a thick, uninviting blackness so heavy it even smelled of darkness. “But you promised me a kingdom!” the princess exclaimed.
“I did. But you must trust me. You must pass through the Dark Hall to get there.”
“But that can’t be so! You told me that there would be a prince and children and joy and laughter. You told me that peace and happiness were to be my lot. That’s what was here in the ballroom tonight! All I want is right here. But that hall holds none of those things. It holds nothing but terror and fear.”
“This room is not the kingdom. This is only the ballroom. All I can do is tell you the way to the Kingdom and help you to get there. You must decide if you are going to trust my advice or not. Will you enter? Or do you want to stay and relive the memories as you watch the servants continue to clear away the decorations from the ball?”
It was a difficult decision, but slowly the princess forced one foot forward and entered the dark unknown.
The moral of the story? If we want to be Queens or Kings, we must remember that “The goodness of God endureth continually” (Ps. 52:1), even while we are traversing the dark halls that seem to be void of all He has promised. God knows where He is taking us and He knows which halls will lead us there.