May 27 – Into The Unknown

Into the unknown

There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. (John 16:12)

Read: 2 Samuel 12:1-31, John 16:1-33, Psalm 119:65-80, Proverbs 16:4-5

Relate: I was absolutely horrified. It was dark, horribly dark, and I was in a strange place. There were lots of trees and stuff all around me and there were things in those trees making noises. Scary noises. I must have been about eight years old and I had been sleeping comfortably in my tent when I woke up in the middle of the night and had to use the bathroom. Normally, for an eight year old boy on a camping trip, that is no big deal. Just unzip the tent flap, unzip your fly, point away from where you might be walking the next morning, and do your thing. No such luck for me, I had to go number two.

The flashlight I used to get from my tent to the restroom some fifteen miles away (roughly) was one of those things you might buy at the dollar store and then complain because they ripped you off. The way there wasn’t so bad. I had an urgency of purpose and there is this huge light outside the bath house to light my way. It was the return trip that scared the living daylights, er… nightlights out of me. I was just coming to the edge of the glow from that bathroom light when its bulb suddenly blew. I was enveloped in darkness with nothing but this cheap dim light for protection. For minutes that seemed like hours, or even days, I stood there frozen in spot. There was still an interior light somewhere back there that was casting a glow of refuge. I could head back and just sit in that bathroom all night, or I could forge ahead into the unknown. What if I walked past my campsite in the dark? I could end up walking endlessly forward forever lost and alone. (Not really, the camp road was a loop, but who thinks of these things when they are eight, scared, and alone?) There was also those scary noises to think about. As soon as the light had gone out, they had grown ten times louder. I swear, it was true. What if one of those noises decided to come out of the woods to see how tasty I might be?

I bravely (or not) forged ahead but I kept wanting to point my flashlight at every sound or motion I thought I saw ahead. The problem is, every time I pointed that little thing off into the vast unknown, a root or rock from directly below me would reach out and I would trip end up tripping on the vile things. Every time I stumbled and tripped I grew more angry, frustrated, and scared. It was a vicious cycle that somehow I had to overcome. I realized that the only way to walk was to keep that light right on where I was stepping and occasionally (every ten steps or so) I would flash it to the side to see if I recognized my campsite. It took a while but eventually I did make it back. I’m pretty sure that if I was eight when I left, I was ten by the time I returned. When I got back into my little tent I did so with complete confidence, a sense of victory, and I was wondering what on earth I had been so afraid of.

React: How often in life do we feel as though we are walking into the future with a cheap ninety-nine cent flashlight powered by a half dead generic battery? How often do the questions and the unknowns call out to us like scary noises out of the trees waiting to devour? How often do we wish that God would give us a huge floodlight that would illuminate every step of our future path?

I think that the reason God all too often does not give us that floodlight glimpse is because if we saw what truly was ahead, we would turn around and start running in the opposite direction. The future is scary. If we are walking in the direction God has called us to walk, then there are things up ahead that look impossible. Alone they are impossible. If the future ahead of us doesn’t at least frighten us a little bit then we probably aren’t on the road God has called us to walk. Jesus said to His disciples on the way to the garden, “I want to tell you more, but you can’t handle it yet.” Jesus is still telling that to His disciples today. Are we His disciples?

Respond:

Dear God,
I am so grateful that much of the road ahead is still unknown. Looking back I am so grateful for the roads You have already led me down, but if I were honest, many of them I would have tried to avoid had I known what was coming beforehand. What was true of my past is still true for my future. My life is in Your hands. The road You have called me down is not safe. It is not easy, but it is glorious and it is not meant to be walked alone. You are with me.
Amen

 

2017 postscript:
This is a repost from a year ago because I am a bit busy at the moment packing and wrapping things up for an extended stay in the US as I work out some visa issues. Hopefully, this will only be a six week trip but there is a chance it might end up needing to be much longer. Please pray with me for safe travels and a swift return.
– Beejai

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22 thoughts on “May 27 – Into The Unknown

  1. Reblogged this on ChristianBlessings and commented:
    “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.Deuteronomy 29:29
    There are some things I may not know but I know He is my God and He knows the way. Praise the Lord.

  2. I agree with you if the Lord had showed me the year that has just passed I never would have gone down that road. In the last year I have endured 6 small surgeries and one big reconstructive surgery on my kidney. If I had known ahead of time how painful the ordeal has been I would not have made it but the Lord showed up everyday and somehow I got through it. If I had known my doctor who handles all of my illness was going to die unexpectedly I would have given up . Sometimes the Lord shows us day by day because his strength is enough to hold us up from one day to the next. It is never the Lord that fails us it is usually our faith which wavers when trials are longer than we expect. Thank you Lord for never giving up on me when so many others have.

  3. On my walk of faith, I thank God for what He reveals in His time ….knowing without a doubt I am on a walk of presentation and faith. He knows what I can absorb and understand at this minute. I pray, tomorrow as I grow in faith, more will be revealed. Great scripture reference to the disciples to support your writing!

  4. Pingback: Into The Unknown | Daily Bread

  5. (The bathhouse was 15 miles away? Surely, you exaggerate.)

    I have been on that dark rooted path recently Hence my post on Practicing the Presence of God… https://theviewfrom5022.com/2016/06/21/practices-necessary-to-acquire-the-spiritual-life/

    Specifically, I have received much information recently concerning things spiritual from all different angles…and I have not been sure whom to trust. But, I knew amid the rocks, roots, and noises of the dark, if I focused on Jesus in Spirit, I would not be led astray.

    In (underline, please) An Altar in the World, Barbara Taylor Brown tells of her walking with her husband in the dark of night through a tunnel of Mountain Laurel. She talks about a fine-tuned sixth sense that enabled them to navigate without sight. It is a similar ‘sixth sense’ that reminds me to be aware of nudges of the divine. He points out my ill temper and tendency to attack…when, in fact, speaking wisdom from Him is what is called for and sharing with others the need to practice His presence.

    (Thank you, Jesus. Keep me straight in the dark. And to you be the glory.)

  6. BJ, perhaps the Lord will bless you by extending your stay on this side of the Pond …
    To quote Mark Twain: “Most of my troubles never happened.”

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