My Resplendent Bride, Danielle Welcher, is my guest contributor today. Danielle is an alumnus of Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque Iowa, as well as a graduate of Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis. She has served as a missionary teacher in the Republic of South Sudan with Africa Inland Mission, and is a middle school social studies teacher by trade.
Lately I have been reminded of a time in my life when I worked at Whispering Winds Bible Camp in high school and some of college. Every year at WWBC we would take a night hike. One summer I had the privilege to lead some of the night hikes. To prepare us as good leaders we would be led on the night hike both at night and during the day so we would be familiar with our surroundings. The reasoning for this was because the night hike was taken without human generated light, only moonlight.
We would only take this hike on clear nights, so that we were able to see our surroundings better. As the leader of the group our eyes would have to adjust to our surroundings and be confident in where we were leading the group. Many times while leading or participating I was amazed that when we just stop and focus we can see things that are usually so dark. We may not be able to see more than five feet in front of us, but we didn’t need to see more than that because we had a leader. As long as we focused on the leader we would get where we were going. Many times the leader would stop in areas and have the hikers take in his or her surroundings and remind them to pay attention to the quiet and the sky: the beauty of God that is shown in His creation.
That night hike through the woods is a lot like life sometimes. Sometimes God takes us on a night hike; we are stuck in the darkness without a flashlight, but if we focus on Him and don’t let our surroundings distract us we can see our leader. Our leader will have us see what He wants us to see. He also wants us to be still in that darkness and know and see that He is God (Ps 46:10 Be still and know I am God. I will be exalted in the nations. I will be exalted in the earth!). Sometimes we must walk through the darkness. Walking through the darkness is only bearable in as much as we follow the resurrected Christ through it. In the darkness you can still see God: He is there.
I am on a dark hike right now. I am living in circumstances in which I cannot see five feet in front of me. Between radiation and my bone marrow transplant, my life is filled with the unknown and to be quite honest I am terrified. I have no idea how I will respond or how my body will react to radiation. I am terrified of being incredibly sick again with the transplant. I fear that after all my suffering, it will not work. In all of those thoughts that I have, though, and in all of those fears I am reminded of Psalm 46:10: to be still and know that He is God and to not fear because He is with me (Deuteronomy 31:6). In the “being still” and “not fearing” I am at peace, because it is not by my strength that I am able to do so; it is only by the strength and grace of Jesus Christ.
That is the reason I am comforted by the Cross of Christ everyday, because His undeserved grace conquers all.
I will remember this as I continue my radiation treatments, which are a little strange but have been going all right. Thank you for your continued prayers. And may the Grace of Christ be with you as you hike through the darkness as well.