by Karen Wingate @kwingate715
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16 NIV
My family loves to tour caves. Don’t misunderstand: we’re not those brave souls in stained jeans and flashlight-fitted headgear that go spelunking through untamed tunnels. We like the safe, low-light, rough-hewn paths taken with a tour guide who knows how to get from entrance to exit in 90 minutes.
A routine aspect of a cave tour is to get to the lowest point of the cave and turn out the lights so the tourists can experience total darkness. The docent warns his group this is going to happen. “Hold on to something and don’t move,” he instructs. Everyone does, because we’re tourists, not spelunkers. We don’t want to be left in the dark. Especially alone.
Every time, as I hear the gasps around me, I laugh. It’s such a simulation. For one thing, the tourists have fair warning that darkness will occur. Try getting caught off guard by pitch black; now that’s real panic.
I know what life in the dark is like. Born totally blind, I experienced eight childhood surgeries that brought my visual acuity to a less extreme status of legal blindness. My weird pupils have extra difficulty adjusting to a sudden light change. When lights turn off, my body freezes in panic. It takes a whirl of brain rearrangement to call into mind my coping mechanisms and move forward once again.
I’m pretty sure all of us have had that feeling of getting caught in the dark. We have our life map in hand. We head resolutely toward our destination. And then suddenly, the lights go out. A parent dies. A divorce happens. We hear the C word from the doctor. A problem beyond our expertise drops a boulder in our path, stopping us in our tracks. Even the next moment of life looks uncertain. In panic, we realize we can no longer see the exit sign pointing us to the security of light. We feel alone because the problem obscures the presence of anyone who cares or could help.
But we’re not alone. And there is a way out. There is always a way out.
God knows our situation. We may not be able to see in the dark, but He sees us and promises to stay with us. Better yet, He has provided a destination and architected the path that leads to that destination. Faith is grabbing on to hope and moving forward in confident trust that our Sighted Guide will not abandon us.
Imagine life without hope. The antonym of hope is despair, resignation that there is no way through or around the conflict we face. Without hope, we would have no reason to take even one step. Faith combines with hope when we willingly move forward, trusting that even though we cannot see the future, a loving benevolent, all-powerful God can. He’s committed to making sure we come out on the other side.
Trust God. Unfreeze your feet and take the next step. Let go of the panic and grab on to Him. It may be still pitch black where you stand, but God will see you through to the end.
Lord, thank you for staying with me through the difficulties I face. I rely on You to bring me through to my final destination and to give me enough light for the next step.
About the author: Karen Wingate is the author of over 250 magazine articles, 150 devotions, and multiple units of Christian education curriculum with four different publishing companies. Mid-life, Karen underwent surgery for a routine repair on a retinal tear and came out of surgery with better vision than she had ever had before. Karen writes and speaks about her vision gain and is currently under contract with a publishing company for a book about seeing God in the moment. She lives with her “Preacher-Creature” husband in Western Illinois and is awaiting the birth of her first grandchild. Visit Karen’s blog at www.karenwingate.com
Join the conversation: How has God shown you that He is with walking with you in your darker moments?