Friday, May 1, 2009

Tunnel Vision

I've never liked traveling through tunnels. On our recent trip, the road took us through quite a few like the one above, and a much longer, more traveled one near Norfolk. I'm claustrophobic and don't like the idea that water - or earth - is piled on top of me! Some tunnels are illuminated to some degree by lights, but the fact that I'm in a dark, dark place is still very real. Signs warn near others to "Use your headlights" - as if we wouldn't think of that! Smells from exhaust pipes are intensified, especially in the longer tunnels, and the noise from other vehicles is incredibly loud. For me - not a pleasant place to be! I can't wait to see a glimmer of sunshine ahead, and the suffocating feeling leaves me as we burst into the sunlight.

So much like life. You understand this analogy as well as I do, for we all must travel through some tunnels, both brief and seemingly never-ending ones. I've never enjoyed any of the circumstances that thrust me into the suffocating darkness; neither have you. But I do know that my Heavenly Father knew where I was every moment; even though I couldn't see Him, He was my constant traveling companion and guide. The noise from my own confusion and the voice of Satan sometimes drowned out His gentle whispers. In fact, in the dark times of life, the tempter seems to shout the loudest as he spews suggestions into my mind - suggestions that only intensify the pain and keep me stalled in the tunnel.

In recent days, God has been speaking to me about abiding in Him - even when I'm in a tunnel. Abiding . . . even the word itself seems to bring comfort. I must confess that I have much to learn about all that abiding means in my life. I do know that I want to be as close to Him as I can and that abiding is something I must choose and consciously practice. Abiding does not take away the troubling circumstances, but it does give me the inner calmness and the confidence to continue on my journey because I know that His grace is sufficient. He is enough! And in His time, I always emerge into the sunlight again!

One day this week, when I turned the page of my Scripture calendar for the day, these words summed up my own prayer so well:
Lord, I don't pray for tranquility, or that my problems may cease; I pray that Your Spirit and love would give me the strength to abide in You during adversity.
"Jesus will walk with me . . . in the night season and all the day long."

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Thanks again, Glenda, for your insights and encouragement. So many times I feel like "abiding" means clinging tightly. At other times I know it means giving up, letting go, and simply resting in the fact that God is holding me and will never let me fall.