I'm walking in the darkness. Trees all around me, the soft crunch
of dried pine needles beneath my feet & crutches. Glimmers of
silvery moonshine, splotched heavily with shadows here
and there...random bits of light through the thick
darkness of the overhead branches in this dense forest.
I feel alone yet know I'm not entirely alone. I hear
nocturnal animals skittering in the outlying areas...crickets...
an owl hoots. I instinctively duck when I hear the whoosh
of wings over my head knowing it must be bats of some kind.
I feel afraid for the first time since I started my walk.
I stand still for a moment, eyes adjusted to the darkness...bits
of moonlight shining through. Eyes searching the night forest
for larger creatures, for anything I need to be afraid of...it
gets quiet once more and I breathe easier with just the night
sounds of small creatures...I'm about to take another step
when just before me I see a hole covered with old boards
barely discernible in the dark forest, but the bits of
moonlight breaking through
the trees allows me to see a message in faded
red painted on the old boards...it reads:
"CAUTION! DO NOT STEP HERE"
I know now for certain I am not alone. God is here.
He gave me the gift of fear in that brief moment (no I didn't say
He gave me the "spirit of fear" - He does not give a "spirit of fear,
but of power love and a sound mind"). But he gave me the
gift of fear for just a short moment...just a sufficient amount
of fear to feel scared enough to make me 'stop and look
around' before I went on in the darkness to step on and fall
through those old boards that covered a deep old well.
I wouldn't have been found for days with no cell service up
there in the hills on that old dirt road...car parked at the edge
of the forest and maybe a few footprints and the circles from
crutches that assisted me in my walk to go by...but no one knew
where I was going. No one knew I would be there. No one
would even know where to start looking as I had not passed
anyone on that long dirt road into the hills...No one that
is but the One who watches over us all the time...the One
who goes with us when all else forsake us...the One who
knows how many hairs are upon our head...the One who
knows every thought and intent of our heart.
Only He knew I was there alone.
He knew what would have happened if I'd taken
another step without seeing that sign.
This is a gift given to me in the darkness of a lonely night
journey trying to find some peace in the madness
that is my world right now.
A gift from a God who is always good and who always
loves me whether I feel worthy of love or am
trying to run from His love...or searching desperately in
the darkness to "find" his love and peace.
I need to remember this gift of love every day...I need to
realize that sometimes even feelings of fear can be a gift.
I need to bless others with the gift of the love which
He has bestowed so graciously upon me.
He loves me still.
He loves me always.
Of this I will remain confident in the midst of despair...in
the midst of darkness and even in the midst of a lonely
journey into a dark, moonlit forest to find peace.
Yes, He loves me still
He loves me always.