The sight before you is intimidating at best and downright frightening at worst.  You hear the frustrated and terrified cries of others stranded just as you are.  A sudden burst of strength radiates through the water as a wave crashes violently on top of you.  Your body tumbles like a ragdoll.  Water rushes through your nose and stings your senses as you inhale suddenly due to panic.  Your heart is racing, your life is flashing before your eyes, when suddenly the ocean extends mercy and releases its grip.  You catapult to the surface, gasping for air and searching for hope.  As the sun is gently tugged below the horizon, darkness approaches, sneakily clothing the sky.  Without the ability to see, you're left with nothing more than the sound of swelling water around you.  Swoosh.  Swoosh.  Swoosh.  Your body loses its strength and the final thought that captures your mind before unconsciousness seizes you is, "This is hopeless."

Have you ever felt that way?  Perhaps you haven't literally been stranded in the middle of an ocean.  At least I hope not.  But you know what it's like to feel hopeless, as if you were being carelessly tossed and thrown around in life.  You know what it's like to feel abandoned, as if you were left in the darkness and forgotten.

Some time ago, I told a dear friend about an analogy that I felt greatly described my current life.  It went something like this:
My life, when I had it all figured out, was a well-lit room filled with the most beautiful furniture.  I could see my way around because there was light, which meant I wouldn't stub my toe or anything drastically painful like that.  I invited folks in, made sweeping gestures with my arms as if to entice them to enjoy everything that filled my life.  As people sat on elegant sofas and admired the detailed handiwork of vintage lampshades, I noticed that there was another room connected to mine.  There was a doorway, but no door, and this new room had light, too.  About the time that I noticed this room existed, someone shut the lights off in my room.  And all of a sudden, I was terrified.  I couldn't see anything except, as cliche as it sounds, the light on the other side.  And suddenly, I saw this Man in the doorway, cheering me on and encouraging me to come meet Him in the new room.  He could tell I was scared; He told me not to be.  I began moving towards Him, blindly reaching out for any indication that I was near something.  I stubbed my toe and cried out, but continued.  I hit my shin and doubled over, but continued.  When I tripped over a stray cushion I couldn't see and fell flat on my face, it was time to let the Man know of my frustrations.  After crying and yelling and sobbing like a baby child, I looked up at Him with the expectation of being scolded or left.  But He simply looked at me with misty eyes and said, "It'll be worth it."
I know what it's like to feel hopeless.  I know what it's like to feel lost.  I know what it's like to feel like someone suddenly turned out all the lights and left you to find your way alone.  I know what it's like to feel abandoned, either in the middle of the ocean or the middle of a dark place. 

But I have learned that these moments, even as painful as they are, are necessary for growth.  In the first scene that I presented, we imagined that you were lost at sea.  Everything seemed hopeless and difficult.  Much more difficult than it needed to be.  As if life itself was conspiring against you.  I've felt that and I'm sure you've felt that at times, too.  But I can assure you that the story is not over.  The Bible says that weeping may last for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.  Your morning is coming, even if you're not fully expecting it's arrival. 

I can tell you this with a certainty because my morning came.

To finish the analogy of my life that I shared with you earlier, I'll just say that the journey to the other room was not easy.  It took hours, days, months to push myself through the darkness towards Christ and what He had waiting for me in the other room.  Finally, when I reached the doorway, looking much worse than I had when I started, my Savior embraced me before doing anything else.  He took out a handkerchief, like a true gentleman, and gently wiped away the tears that had stained my face.  He whispered, "I knew you could do it."  And He led me into a beautiful room called Morning. 

In this room, I've found great healing.  I've found even greater strength.  And I've found the courage to look back on my journey without bitterness, but with gratitude that my Savior was with me when no one else cared to be.  When no one else could be. 

I'm sure if you look at your situation now, as you're floating in the middle of the ocean and waiting for help, you'll notice a hazy figure in the distance.  You blink a few times before you realize that, yes, He's walking towards you on water.  The morning fog surrounds Him and hides His face.  Then all of a sudden, it hits you.

You've made it to the Morning.

And as He comes closer and offers His hand to help you, you hear Him say, "I knew you could it."

No comments:

Post a Comment