Monday, April 23, 2018

Dark tunnel ahead

Corrie Ten Boom lived during some of the most horrific times of World War II. She was the daughter of a Dutch watchmaker, intent on helping many Jewish families escape the horror of the Nazi holocaust by hiding them in a small closet while enduring the unsettling repeated searches of her home. Living in those very unsettled times, constantly fearing for their own lives, and the lives of the families they sought to keep from the death sentence of being a Jew in those times, she never lost sight of her faith. She held fast to the certainty she was held in the center of God's arms and regardless of what those men might have sought to do to end her life, she'd was going to do the right thing. I remember hearing her one time, and as I sat in a room listening to her stories of those moments of tremendous fear, this is what she said, "When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer." Yes, it is a tremendous thing to trust!

If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success. (Proverbs 3:5-6 TLB)

I drove to my niece's house yesterday. I have to pass through a tunnel that moves us under some of the main thoroughfares in Phoenix. It is well-lighted, very wide, and with what I count on as made well under great structural engineering. If I didn't take that tunnel, I'd add many minutes to my journey and it would add many a stop, start, and stop again as I navigated through city streets. That tunnel is a means to an end - it gets me there with a measure of convenience that I appreciate. Yet, if I chose to not trust I'd ever make it to the other side of that tunnel, I'd have to make either alternative choices to go around the tunnel, or I'd never reach my destination. The tunnel is always darkest at its midpoint - every tunnel is the same. The deeper we go, the more we count on the trust there is an opening at the other end!

We navigate the tunnels in peaceful trust when we know the engineer is in control. Mom and my grandsons didn't have any concerns about the tunnel, because they trusted me to get them through. One read on his phone, the other continued to read his book, and mom just dozed quietly in the seat next to me. In much the same way, the tunnels of life are navigated not by blind trust, but with purposeful trust. When the family got into the car with me, they trusted I'd bear them safely to my niece's house and back. Both times we'd have to go through that tunnel - both times they'd trust me unquestioningly to get them through. If we can do this in a natural sense, how come we have such a hard time trusting with the same abandon when it comes to allowing God to 'engineer us' through life? Just askin!