Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tunnel Vision

 Elisabeth Elliot is a wonderfully wise woman of God whose speaking and writing have impacted my life for years.  I came across this quote recently and it brought back a memory that is comforting and at the same time unsettling.

It was winter, and I was driving back home after a long and painful time spent with loved ones who were grieving a devastating loss.  Depressing thoughts and fears were my companions as I drove along the turnpike, wishing that everything were different.  I don't remember what the weather was like that day, but inside the car it was bleak and gray.  I thought it was ironic, considering the darkness I was feeling, that it was necessary to drive through literal tunnels in order to stay on the road that would take me home. It was as I entered one particularly long tunnel that my thoughts took a different turn.  There would be light at the end of the tunnel.  I couldn't see it, but I knew it would eventually be visible.  I knew that it would be a gradual thing, slowly getting lighter until I would see the opening of the tunnel's end.  I thought of how terrible it would be if I just stopped, unwilling to continue in the dark.  It would harm me and others who were following me on the road.  I had to keep going.  I had to believe and trust that I would be coming out of this dark, damp tunnel and into the brightness of day.  As I was contemplating all of this, I became aware that something felt different, as though the burden had lifted a bit.  My tunnel thoughts had injected something new to the sad atmosphere I was surrounded by.  It was hope.  I had found comfort and hope through the simple, unremarkable experience of driving through a tunnel, waiting for that first glimpse of light.  I knew I would never again hear the proverbial "there's light at the end of the tunnel" in the same way.  Thank you, Lord, for ministering through the mundane.

"Things which sound like platitudes become vital, living and powerful when you have to learn them in dark tunnels."  ~  Elisabeth Elliot  ~