After winding down a long twisty road with a wall of rock on one side and a steep drop-off on the other, I came to a dark tunnel that led straight into the heart of a mountain. I couldn’t see the light at the end, just the yellow lines in the middle, telling me to keep going.
I’ve been thinking a lot about those little yellow lines. When all visibility is gone, when merely a handbreadth of light is all you can see ahead of you, those painted lines across the pavement are literally saving your life in that moment. They’re keeping you from veering off course. They’re pointing the way you should go. And they’re saying you’re not at the end. There’s more ahead of you. Just keep moving forward and you’ll see.
Maybe that’s where you’re at right now, traversing a dark road, waiting for the light at the end to appear. Maybe you’ve been in a long season of one hardship after another, and the summer’s brightness outside doesn’t match what you feel inside. I’ve been there more times than I care to admit. And yet . . .
No matter the circumstances around us, there’s always something ahead of us, and there’s always Someone inside us guiding us forward.
We are never left without recourse. There are things we can do, even while we wait for a particular season to end. Like the yellow lines on the road — pointing the way forward to reach the other side — the following things have helped me through those challenging seasons.
1. Turn to God’s Word.
When life’s road gets bumpy, we often turn to easy comforts, like food that soothes or TV that numbs. Let’s open God’s Word instead and soak in its truth. Let’s invite Him to speak into our moments and reorient our thoughts toward Him.
2. Connect with God’s people.
Too often our pain makes us want to withdraw. We isolate ourselves in an attempt to protect our hearts from further injury. Unfortunately, this usually ends up having the opposite effect. Isolation begets loneliness. Instead, let’s ask a friend to meet for coffee, and more than anything, let’s be sure to connect with His family on Sunday mornings. After all, family and community were His ideas from the beginning.
3. Give thanks for God’s gifts.
Nothing takes our negative thoughts captive more than turning those thoughts toward all the amazing gifts God has given. It can be as simple as making a list of all the things we’re grateful for, but more than the things, let’s give thanks for the people in our lives. Oh, what a treasure we find in our loved ones!
4. Seek out ways to bless others.
This is just plain fun. When we’re in a funk and having a hard time snapping out of it, let’s find ways to be a source of joy for others, especially those we may not know very well. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. Perhaps write a handwritten note of encouragement to an old friend or offer a warm smile and say hello to a stranger you pass in the store.
5. Enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.
When life has taken the wind out of our sails, let’s remember to lace up our shoes and walk outside. There’s nothing like feeling the warmth of the sun on our backs while breathing in the cool fresh air. And when we catch a glimpse of His handiwork, let’s stand in awe of His wonder and worship the Creator in all His glory.
When we’re intentional to do all five of these things, we move toward hope when the road is long.
After driving through the shadowy tunnel, the yellow lines in the middle eventually led to the other side, and the whole earth opened up to light, where the landscape before you takes your breath away. You have to pull over to take it all in — the majestic granite rock on both sides, the waterfall to the right, and the trees filling the valley below.
The entrance into Yosemite Valley is dramatic, going from utter darkness to sheer delight. I think it’s another picture God has painted for us to remind us that, yes, the brokenness of this world can feel like a long dark path, but soon — sooner than we might think — the gates of heaven will open and the presence of the Almighty will be the only Light we’ll need. On that day we’ll behold a Beauty beyond anything we can imagine.
Friend, if you’re on a long hard road right now, don’t give up. Keep pressing forward.
Trust Him in the darkness, and He’ll lead you into goodness. It’s a promise.
This post was originally written in July of 2018 by Denise J. Hughes.
Trust Him in the darkness, and He’ll lead you into goodness. It’s a promise. -@DeniseJHughes: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Thanks Denise! These are words of hope for someone who has been intimately acquainted with grief many times this past year.. and many hardships over a lifetime.. I also look forward to seeing that beautiful park one day!! Gorgeous picture.. praise Him \0/ asking for prayers for my family as the hearts are broken and the minds are broken in a few also. This unfortunately breaks some relationships.. I know my God is in control
Blessings today and always
A much needed post in a time where we find our world most of it in isolation. Fear of the unknown before us. Your post resonates to our situation today where we are faced with the threat of Covid19. We are in complete shutdown in New Zealand for the next month and maybe longer. May we seek God, his protection and love and come out on the other side stronger In our faith and relationship with the almighty!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I’m so thankful for God’s Word (the double yellow lines) that keep me safely on the road through the dark tunnels of life. Right now, the news, tv, video games and other distractions can take us down even further. This is the time to think on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. The only thing that fits that bill is the Bible. We might not be able to meet for coffee, but we can pick up the phone and call family, friends, neighbors, shut-ins. Is there someone who can’t get out to whom we could deliver a meal? I know that helping others when I’m struggling, improves my outlook. Awesome post for these times we are in…
Linda Miltzow says
Denise, immediately the words of Psalm 23:4-5 came to mind…Even when walking through the darkest valley, I have nothing to be afraid of. The Lord is walking close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.
When I reach the end, there is a banquet of deliciousness—for body, mind and soul—right there waiting me at the end of the darkness. Blessings overflowing!
The visual of the dark tunnel, yellow lines to follow, and vision of pure delight at the end gives us encouragement and hope for this day. What a God we have to remind us wherever we are that He is with us everywhere!!
M @ In Beautiful Chaos says
Thank you for this reminder! Yes, the road is long and hard (very hard at times), and too often all we can see is the darkness, but God’s love is guiding us toward a beautiful ending!
M @ In Beautiful Chaos
Nancy Ruegg says
Praise God for all the ways he bolsters our hope! Thank you, Denise, for reminding us of his continual affirmation: we can trust him–even in the dark–his goodness is assured.
Well, after 28 1/2 years of marriage, 17 of them with my husband being in adultery multiple times, he is officially leaving April 1. It has been years of forgiving, rebuilding, forgiving, rebuilding, although I realize now I was the one doing all the forgiving and rebuilding alone. He is going to be with his “Christian” girlfriend. Satan will have a hayday, but my God is mighty and powerful and has full authority over my life. Please pray for me and my children, to have a loving, faithfilled support system and that God WILL have victory in a way only He sees and knows at this time. All prayers will be apprciated. It has been a long, hard journey.
Wow! Well I can’t say I know what you’re going through but I can pray for you. Kia Kaha (means be or stay strong in Maori). God sees you he knows your inner most thoughts, hurts, feelings. He knows how many hairs you have on your head…
That verse comes to mind about the birds and how God feeds them… aren’t we more precious to him then the birds and won’t he provide for us… Sorry it’s either flowers or birds but the point is He is the Creator, he never promised we wouldn’t have hurts or trials but He did promise to walk through them with us and be by our side.
You are his masterpiece..trust in him and he will carry you through, your family and all. You tried. Your husband is the one who lied and is losing here. Although I’m sure it’s completely heartbreaking you know deep down you deserve better than the way you have been treated.
Beth Williams says
We don’t take the time to appreciate God’s beauty. We often just rush from one thing to the next trying to get everything done. Maybe it’s one crisis after another. Always seem to be in a tizzy hurry to get somewhere. It’s time we slowed down & take a look around us. In dark times of trials & tribulations I run to community. Seeking out a few close friends who I can bear my burdens with me. Also prayer is a biggie for me. Asking God what to do next & when. In all circumstances I have hope. A hope that doesn’t disappoint. This virus pandemic isn’t a surprise to God. He may have let it happen to get our attention. Causing us to slow down, take time to be with Him. Get into His word more. Instead of giving into fear & trepidation, anchor your soul to Jesus & let Him carry you through the storm. You may be surprised what’s on the other side.