This morning as I was getting ready for work, God laid some words on my heart for me to speak to one of my friends. As I read what unfolded on the page before me this evening, I felt that part of it could be beneficial to a lot of us, so I decided to post it.

I don’t know about you, but it seemed like this winter wouldn’t ever end. Especially around the beginning of February, it just felt so depressing; it had been so bitterly cold and dreary for so long, it felt like it wouldn’t ever be warm again. A couple of times it warmed up a bit, even into the 60’s, and I thought I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, but then a few days later it was back in the teens again. But then, as always, it started to warm up. And it stayed warmer. Ah, spring. The light at the end of the tunnel of a bitterly cold winter. It’s much easier looking back on it now than it was looking forward to this point, you know? Sure, looking back doesn’t remove the overwhelming feelings that it was taking forever for spring to arrive. It doesn’t change that fact of how cold the winter was. But it is much easier to look back to then, than it was to look forward to now. And with the frame of reference of how cold it was, it makes it seem that much warmer now. If it weren’t for winter, we wouldn’t be able to truly appreciate spring.

Life can be like that sometimes, can’t it? It just seems like we’ll never see the light at the end of the tunnel. Stuff keeps happening; we get our hopes up, only to have them dashed once again. We strain to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes we think we can see it. But it just turns out to be the glint off of a rock. Or worse, a train barreling down on us. Sometimes we feel like giving up, like just sitting down off to the side. The important thing is that we not give up on the fact that somewhere ahead of us is the end of the tunnel. Even when we do near the end, at first it will seem like so many times before, and we dare not get our hopes up lest they be dashed yet again. But wait, it’s staying around longer than last time. I don’t feel the rumble of an oncoming train. Now it’s getting bigger! Could it be? Nah. I don’t want to get my hopes up again. We get a whiff of fresh air – so refreshing and clean and pure; such a contrast to the stale, musty smell that has overpowered our senses for so long. Our heart starts racing, and we start walking faster and faster, until we find ourselves sprinting. We can hear the birds chirping, we can start to see shadows and silhouettes of things just beyond where we are now. We run faster and faster until – we’re out! Finally! We are blinded by the light, we squint as our eyes try to readjust to the brightness of the world around us; for so long we’ve been in the dark, cold dampness of the tunnel. We feel the cool breeze on our face, we feel the heat of the sun on our skin. We are out! We look back at the tunnel that dominated our senses, that immersed us in darkness and despair for so long. And suddenly, it doesn’t seem so overwhelming, so final, so permanent. Yes, it is much easier to look back than look forward.

We know that in this life, we will have troubles and pain. In fact, we are promised it. In John 16:33, Jesus tells us that we will have many trials and sorrows, but to take heart because He has overcome the world. We’re told in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that no matter what we’re going through, that other people have gone through the same thing. But, God is Faithful – he won’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we’re able to stand. Not only that, but when we’re tempted, He will show us a way out so that we can endure through it. And on top of that, we are promised that we won’t face it alone, that He will walk with us through it. We aren’t promised a door in the side of the tunnel. We are, however, promised that there is an end to the tunnel. But even though there is an end to the tunnel, we won’t necessarily understand the reason for going through it. God has a plan that’s larger and more complex than any of us could fathom in this life. We’re reminded that just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so too His ways and His thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9.) Our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophesy reveals only part of the whole picture. But when we are given full understanding, these partial things will become useless. We now see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that we know now is partial and incomplete, but then we will know everything completely, just as God now knows us completely (1 Corinthians 13:9-10, 12) We also know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them. (Romans 8:28.) The thing that we have to keep in mind, though, is that our idea of “good” isn’t necessarily His idea of “good.” We think of good in the temporal sense, while He thinks of good as in the eternal sense. And while the enemy’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy – to make us think that the tunnel will last forever and give up, His purpose is to give us a rich and satisfying life in Him. (John 10:10) Or as the King James version says – that we may have life more abundantly.