I am on my way to L.A. from Denver. I chose to drive this time for several reasons. As I wound my way through the mountains I had to drive through several tunnels. Each tunnel was different, some were very short, one was nearly 3 miles long, one wound it’s way around and I found myself wondering when I would make my way out. The short tunnels had very little lighting, for they were short enough that I could see in and out simultaneously. The longer tunnels however, began with little light, but the further in I drove, the more I noticed the natural light disappear and the florescent street lights illuminated the way. The middle of a three mile tunnel is dark. Very dark. I’m thankful I had lights on my car and I’m thankful for the time someone took to engineer a tunnel with electricity.
It is the darkest point of the tunnel. It is the darkest point of any situation. It is the point where most of us think we’ve hit the bottom and turn around, because we just don’t know if we can go any further.
I’ve spoken with several people about being in the middle this year. It seems many people I know find themselves in situations where darkness feels more palpable than light and where taking one more step into the dark feels impossible. The crazy thing about being in the middle is that it is the one place where we are equidistant from the start of the tunnel to exiting the tunnel, we simply don’t realize it. Many of us hit the middle and the difficulty and darkness it holds and turn around, for at least we know what is there and how long it will take to get back to where we started. We arrive at the mid-point where exit is just as close as entry and we choose to turn back.
Healing happens as we take steps into the dark from the middle. For when we step into the dark, one more step, two more steps and so on, we are actually walking toward the light, towards the other side, towards healing. We must cross the darkest point to reach the exit for which we’ve longed.
Tonight I literally find myself in the middle. I am half-way between Denver and LA. I just came out of the darkest stretch of the trip, with no lights, no cell reception, and no sign of visible life. My car started shaking, the check engine light came on and there I was, literally in the middle, without the capability of journeying on tonight. My initial response was fear. My secondary response was gratitude, followed by courage and faith. I had just spent a significant time in prayer asking God to increase my belief and faith. And now this. Funny, it’s in the middle where belief and faith are lived into and increased.
Though I was shaken, though I did have to choose to believe, though I found myself… find myself with questions of how this situation will work itself out. I will step into tomorrow knowing that God is there and inviting me to light… to belief… to increased faith. And I will have a story of rescue from the middle, that you’ll more than likely read about in posts to come.
Do you find yourself in a dark place? Do you find yourself doubting? Questioning and confused? Do you want to turn around and escape? Keep stepping. Keep walking. Keep trusting. And, ask the God of light to bring you to His healing warmth on the other side.