In a hole…in this hole, I see nothing. I feel nothing. I am nothing. Nothing but a person, lost and alone, cold and lonely in a hole. In a pit of despair, of questions, of second guesses. Of Fear. Of doubt. I know that God is there, but otherwise, I am numb. I feel him around me…a warmth in this cold. Encouraging me. Pushing me. Testing my every limit. Testing me to see if I will keep my faith in him, or if I will give in…testing to see if I will listen to him when he says simply, “Climb.”<br>
In a hole…I nod. I choose to listen. I choose faith, though my faith is weary. I claw my way up the sides. I feel the dirt and the grime beneath my hands, damp and cold in my hands. “I can’t do this!” I think. “But I can…” he says. I claw. I climb. I reach. I stretch. My arms ache. My back, in agony. My legs, lifeless beneath me. “I can’t!’ I cry. He smiles. Places his hand on me. “But, I can. Go. Keep Going.” I go. I have to. I trust him.
At the top…I realize that where I am, is not sunny. It’s not bright and full of joy and flowers and sunshine. It’s a tunnel. A long, winding, seemingly never ending tunnel. The ground is covered with hard gravel and rocks. I’m barefoot. “Trust me…I’m here. I’m always here.” I step, surprisingly, I feel nothing. No sharpness of the rocks beneath me. No cutting, no scraping, no stinging. I step again. And again. And again. Still, I feel nothing. I look around me, paniced that I see no one. “My God! Have you left me here? Alone in this long, cold tunnel?” I hear nothing but a whisper, right in my ear, “Be still, my child. For now, I carry you.”
Down the tunnel…the path twists and turns. Uphill and downhill. In some areas, the darkness fades and begin to see. I feel warmth resonating through my stiff, cold body. It’s in these areas that I walk side by side with my Lord; sometimes hand in hand. Talking and chattering, even laughing at times. Here there are smiles and the feeling of joy. In these parts I feel the grass or the sand beneath me. Soft. Painless.
In the tunnel…in other areas, it grows still darker and colder. It is here that I feel strong arms, unwavering arms beneath me. It is here that I draw closer and closer to the warmth of Jesus. I shudder and cringe. I feel pain. I feel weary. I feel the urge to give in. To let the darkness that surrounds me overwhelm me. I’m slipping.“Will this never end?” I shudder as cold tears drench my cheeks. He replies simply, “Faith.”
In the tunnel…I see a break. A light. A bright, beaming glow of warmth that heats my skin. I’ve never felt warmth this way before. I see colors. I hear laughter. It’s then, that I notice the clouds and the rain that await the path ahead. It’s not all sunny. As my eyes search more and more I realize that this path is tainted. There are rocks. There are hills. There are valleys. I step forward. And again. The light gets no closer, yet at the same time, no farther. I feel, stuck. “Lord!” I cry, “What does this mean? Where am I?” I hear the answer. The answer that explains so much.
“My child. The road ahead is not an easy one. There are pits and trenches. There is darkness and rain. But if you will trust in me, have faith in me, you can reach the light. And the light, my child, is greater than anything you will ever experience. But you must choose. You must choose the light, knowing that there will be moments of darkness. Or you must choose total darkness. But either way, you must choose only one. I have shown you both on our journey, but now, you must choose on your own.”
I look around me. Behind me. The path behind me was scary. Was dark. Was cold. Yet, the darkness was inviting. In the darkness, I could hide. In the darkness, I could feel nothing. In the darkness, I could give in.
But the light! The beautiful light! The warmth, the laughter, the sweetness that hung in the air.
“Father, I choose. I choose the light.”
“And so our journey begins, my child.”