March 5, 2012
There were eight of us linked arm in arm. We inched our way forward. Just a little over an hour before then, the sun was lighting the woods of the Swedish village of Gislaved. But no more. It was dark. Spooky dark. This forest was unlike any I have ever experienced. The woods in Pennsylvania are kind. At least they allow the moonlight to slip through the branches. Not where we were. I held my hand in front of my face, but I wasn't sure my hand was indeed cooperating and if my eyes were even open. I couldn't see a fraction of anything, not the blurry shape of my hand, not a sliver of light.
We were afraid to take big steps, fearing we'd fall into the abyss. Funny how the darkness changed our perception. Our steps were wobbly and insecure, even though we already knew the dirt road was flat and wide, free and clear of obstacles for at least a half mile. We were only a few steps away from the cottage we rented, but the porch light was already dim and seemed to be blocks away. Even so, we all kept moving one small step at a time.
The youngest, who was about 6 years old at the time, didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The older kids and the adults giggled non-stop. And Me? Ok, I admit, I was scared. I was also at the same point of fear turned to nervous laughter. Secretly, I wanted to run back inside, but I was clinging tightly onto the two on either side of me. My arms said to my unsettled mind, "No way- you’re not making us let go." My legs said, “You are practically glued to the road. You can barely walk let alone run. The arms have our vote.”
We heard some rustling and a low grumble in the woods-somewhere too nearby. I was only 16, too young to be something’s main course. For lack of a better phrase: Then there was deafening dead silence. That did it!
We all did an immediate about-face, somehow synchronized and without letting our arms untangle. But to our dismay, someone broke the arm chain. Then came relief, a sense of security, as he turned on a flashlight he stashed in his pocket. Why didn't I think of that? It's amazing how the focus quickly shifted to the light and away from the fear and the emptiness of the darkness.
With the light now showing the way safely to the cottage, we moved surely - but oh so quickly -back inside. Our time of exploration and dare was over.
Darkness, troubles, frustrations, struggles… All can be overwhelming. They can bring us to our knees in fear. Yet during those times when darkness settles around us, where is our focus? Is it on those things that challenge us? On our situation? On our own fear that creates a false sense of awareness? OR is our focus on the answer to our dilemma, on the hope that is promised us – on God – who illumines the way to victory and overcomes any obstacle that can weigh us down or keep us tangled in the dark? Where is your focus, dear one?
Micah 7:8 says, “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light."
God is the light that has overcome the darkness. God is the light that will scatter the shadows. God is the light of the promises of the now, of the yesterdays and of the tomorrows. Find comfort in Him. Find comfort in His Word, for even His Word radiates His light that will show us the way and carry us through.
"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (Psalms 119:105)
"I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 12:46)
Blessings, dear one. Illuminate His glory in you!
Posted by Bonny Miller