I received an encouring email this week from a friend through my moms group. She sends out weekly emails to the group leaders and this week's story was so good, I wanted to share it. I knew it could benefit others too. So, with her permission, I'm sharing it here:
When I was in elementary school, our family visited Mammoth Cave. Aside from the pool at the hotel and a horseback ride, I don’t carry many fond memories of the trip.
The decent down into the cave was unsettling, even terrifying for an eight year old. With each step, we found ourselves deeper into the bowels of the cave, complete with stalagmites and bats. (I never saw the bats, but I guarantee you they were there.)
The most traumatic moment came, however, when our guide warned us he was about to kill the lights. In just a moment, he said, we would find ourselves in complete darkness. True to his word, the lights snapped off, and all was black. We weren’t even able to see our hand just inches in front of our faces.
I found myself on the verge of panic, knowing the walls were closing in and the bats were coming for me.
But it was then, in the midst of my horror, that the strong, gentle hand of my dad came out of the darkness and rested on my shoulder. “I’m right here, Julie. It’s okay.”
And it was okay. We didn’t leave the darkness or the cave for what felt like hours, but the strength and comfort which blanketed over me at the assurance of Dad’s presence saw me through.
These days of uncertainty, many of us are finding ourselves in a pit. A pit which may have come suddenly as the lights snapped off, or one which we have been descending into slowly over time. And many of us can’t see a way out.
But just like Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego, even though we are in a pit, we are not in the pit alone.
"So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell down into the roaring flames. But suddenly, as he was watching, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, 'Didn't we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?' 'Yes,' they said, 'we did indeed, Your Majesty.' 'Look!' Nebuchadnezzar shouted. 'I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire. They aren't even hurt by the flames! And the fourth looks like a divine being !'" (Daniel 3:23-25)
Oswald Chambers says…
In the midst of the awfulness, a touch comes, and you know it is the right hand of Jesus Christ. The right hand not of restraint nor of correction nor of chastisement, but the right hand of the Everlasting Father. Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it is ineffable peace and comfort, the sense that "underneath are the everlasting arms," full of sustaining and comfort and strength. When once His touch comes, nothing at all can cast you into fear again. His tenderness is ineffably sweet. Do I know Him like that? (My Utmost for His Highest, 5/24)
As we navigate these uncertain times, even finding ourselves in a pit, may we be ever mindful of the unwavering presence of our Father beside us.
I love the message expressed in this story. I hope everyone knows the presence of the One who sustains all life. Thanks, Julie, for letting me share your story.