It’s funny how sometimes, right out of the blue, so to speak, memories come back of things that have happened long ago in the past that make a connection with today. It’s 4 AM in the morning and I woke up with a memory of a night that I experienced many years ago.
When I was in my late teens I was hitchhiking by myself across northern Ontario, trying to get home to Manitoba, the province in Canada where I was born. This is a long trip, well over a thousand miles, through the northern wilderness, during the summer. Why is not really relevant, just the circumstances on one particular night is.
I had a map and it was late in the day when I came to a fork in the road. If I took a 19 mile side road I could trim off quite a few miles from the main road. Seemed like a good idea at the time. But traffic was light and darkness quickly fell and there I was, alone, on a road in northern Ontario. We’re talking about total darkness, almost blacker than black. It was so dark I could not even make out the road. I walked throughout the early night, no cars came by on the road and the silence was deafening. I think it was about one or two in the morning, I was tired and just slowly plodding along in the darkness when I heard a loud grunt. I couldn’t see anything, literally anywhere, either in front of me or behind me, so I just froze exactly where I was standing. This is black bear country. Black bears and total night darkness do not present a good contrast. So I am standing in the middle of a two lane road, in total darkness, in the middle of nowhere, totally frozen because although I could hear the bear, I could not see it. There were a couple of more grunts. Then I smelled it. It had to be close. Just so you know, bears in the wild do not smell good. It’s a smell you’ll never forget. To say I was scared would be an understatement, but I remained totally frozen. My thinking was, if I couldn’t see the bear, perhaps it could not see me. The smell of the bear dissipated and I didn’t hear any more grunts. I must have stood there for an hour, in total darkness, before I started to venture down this dark road again. I ended up walking the total 19 miles during the rest of the night and slowly, as dawn finally began to break into the day, I came to the spot where this “shortcut”, rejoined the main highway once again and there was a roadside gas station nearby where I enjoyed an early morning coffee.
I don’t think I have ever been as happy to see dawn rise as I was on that particular morning.
Why would my memory bring this back to my mind? Was God trying to show me something? I have no idea but there are similarities that did cross my mind.
Unknowns are like the darkness. We can’t see through it, there is no contrast in which to differentiate one thing from another. And all of us face darkness in one form or another, some deal with mental illness issues, some with memories of what we have experienced or endured or done in the past and others about what may happen in the future. And, in reality, there is the ultimate darkness of the unknown, the darkness of what lies beyond this life that we have been given, when we leave this life that we have known, behind.
As this memory came to my mind, it made me realise that I am indeed thankful for light. Light that does allow me to differentiate one thing from another. The known from the unknown.
And then this scripture verse also came to my mind, where the Apostle John records that Jesus said these words in John 8:12 NASB “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
There are an awful lot of things that I do not always understand, things that aren’t always as clearly defined as I’d like them to be, but I have faith in my Shepherd, Jesus, the Son of God, who is my light, who leads me in and through the darkness of this life to the light of life that awaits us who believe in Him.
And there is no darkness ever in God’s presence, none (1 John 1:5).
I’m thinking that maybe God wanted to remind me of that and I thought that I would share it with all of you. And I am indeed so very thankful.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!