April 5, 2008

In the tunnel

“There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it is not a train.”

That makes me chuckle—unless I’m the one in the tunnel. Maybe I’ve seen too many James Bond movies, but when I’m in a tunnel it seems like there is no end of it; I just might crash and burn in that dark place.

Today’s reading from God is Enough is so good that I’m tempted to paste the entire thing into this blog. However, it is a copyrighted book, so that’s out. I will quote parts of it though, particularly what it says about the tunnel.

It goes something like this: Let your faith throw its arms around all God has told you, and in every dark hour remember that “though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,” (1 Peter 1:6), this is only like going through a tunnel. The sun has not stopped shining because you are in a tunnel and cannot see it. The Son of Righteousness is still shining too. Be patient and trust Him, and wait. God is allowing this time of darkness so “that the genuineness of your faith . . . though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).

God keeps reminding me that this life of faith is not about me. Faith is not about what I feel, not about what I see; faith is about Him and His promises. It is about trusting His ability and His faithfulness to do what He says He will do.

Today’s reading reminds me that I must determine to believe Him. It says that faith is not “a passive imbecility, but an active energy.” What a great description! I must take the faculties that God gives me and think about this. Just because I can’t see what is going on, does that mean that nothing is? That God has shut down? That is idiotic.

I’m also reminded to set my face like a flint and pay attention to my self-talk. Instead of “Woe is me, God isn’t listening” I need to say things like, “I will believe, and I know I will not be confounded. All things are possible to God (Matthew 19:26) and that all things are possible also to him who believes (Mark 9:23). Faith has in times past ‘subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword . . . waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens’ (Hebrews 11:33–34); and faith can do it again because God can do it again. He is faithful.”

Jesus also said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you’” (Matt. 17:20). A mustard seed is not very big. I know I have that much faith, even in a tunnel, even in the dark.

During a dark time, the psalmist wrote, “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.’”

This tunnel thing is not about me; it is about God, and God is not only the light at the end of the tunnel; He is also in the tunnel with me.

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