Strength In A Dark Tunnel

A dark tunnel is a place of profound loss and pain. It’s a time in our life when our loved ones, career, finances, health, freedoms and so forth are taken away from us. A dark tunnel can be a scary moment. I know. In case you find yourself in it, remember the following.

God Loves You Unconditionally

Your thoughts and opinion of others might tell you, “There is no God. If God exists, then, He doesn’t care. He has abandoned you because you are a worthless sinner.” It’s straightforward to estimate our self-worth by the way other people treat us. Often we let our circumstances define us. If you aren’t careful, labels such as loser, sick, divorcee, rejected, criminal, and addict may stick in your mind.

Perhaps a number has replaced your name; you’ve become a statistic and are no longer treated as a dignified human being. People are free to make up their minds about you, but the fact remains – you are wonderfully and uniquely made. Your value is not founded on how you look, what you have or what you are going through. Your true worth is in the integrity of God your creator.

You are a precious child of your father, God

That’s why He bought you for a price – by giving His only son Jesus Christ to die on the cross. Your spirit is God’s seal of ownership, and your unique DNA is a signature proof that you were exclusively made in heaven. God meticulously planned your living here on earth long before you were created. You have been fashioned and sent to this world for a particular purpose that involves uniquely improving lives. Since you matter to Him, that much God will never leave you.

A dark tunnel is for your greater good

“If God truly loves me”, you may ask, “why has He let me go through all this?” Honestly, we don’t know the whole meaning of all the suffering. But we know for sure that a dark tunnel is a place that all of us must pass through en route to the great triumph. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross once said,

“the most delightful people we have known are those who have known defeat, suffering, struggle, loss, and found their way out of the depths”.

For you to be going through pain can only mean one thing – you are one destination closer to greatness.

Anything that comes your way – no matter how painful – is meant to make you better and happier. In the words of Alan Redpath,

“there is no circumstance, no trouble, no testing, that can ever touch you until, first of all, it has gone past God and Christ, right through to you. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which you may not understand now.”

At times, the pain can be a natural guide – a beeper in our souls that says we are heading in the wrong direction. So, take a few minutes and look at your life. Ask God if there is an attitude, habit or mistake that He might be just trying to correct. If yes, gratefully accept His correction, learn from it, and move forward with Him.

Your life story would never be complete without this chapter. One day you will be in a position to look back at this very moment of your life and appreciate God’s integrity for allowing it to be part of your colourful destiny.

Your dark tunnel is good for others as well

Your present adversity is not only for your good; it’s also intended to enrich the lives of thousands or even millions of other people. Great people, Leonardo da Vinci said, are those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.

The Bible puts it even better; the most remarkable people are those who though in trouble, still make others smile and use their strength to make others stronger.

So, cheer up, mate, because you have something unique to offer. Your pain is not in vain; it’s about uplifting others through your present experiences. Open up your heart and stretch your arms to reach out to someone. This can mean anything from feeding the hungry to something as simple as a word of encouragement.

Worship God

In the words of Os Hillman,

“even when you do not feel like worshiping, worship. Even when you don’t feel like praying, pray. Even when you don’t feel like reading His Word, read. Even when you don’t feel like singing songs of faith, sing. When you pray, don’t just talk; listen. Be silent before Him and listen for His still, quiet voice.”

Be calm; you aren’t staying in the dark tunnel forever

You’re only passing through it. Every test is for a reason and a season. However, don’t try to hurry the dark-tunnel process along.

“… a caterpillar is doomed to a life on the ground if it is prematurely freed from its struggle inside a cocoon. The struggle in the cocoon is what gives the future butterfly wing power to fly…” – Charlie Dexter.

Just surrender to God’s will

Be still and trust God to finish His work in you. “Surrendering your life to God,” Rick Warren says, “means following God’s lead without knowing where he’s sending you; Waiting for God’s timing without knowing when it will come; Expecting a miracle without knowing how God will provide; Trusting God’s purpose without understanding the circumstances… You know you’re surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. You let go and let God work. You don’t have to always be in charge. Instead of trying harder, you trust more. You also know you’re surrendered to God when you don’t react to criticism and rush to defend yourself.”

Never give up hope

Corrie Ten Boom is the author of the book called The Hiding Place and a Holocaust survivor. After witnessing her family members being murdered in the Nazi concentration camps, Corrie 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.”

Today as you go through the dark tunnel of life, don’t throw away your hope. Stay still and trust God, your Creator. God creates and keeps only what He needs. As long as you are alive, God still needs you here. The only time you will be allowed to die (and that time is imminent to all of us) is when your life purpose has been fully served. When this happens, it will be even better; you will be gone to be with your Heavenly father to start a brand new life in eternity.

Nonetheless, until then, you are going nowhere. According to Romans 8:35-39, nothing in heaven, nothing on earth or in hell; nothing in the past, present or future is strong enough to destroy God’s perfect plan for your life.

You are God’s best! Yes, even in your pain; even if you feel ugly, worthless or lonely, God still loves you because He is good … always!

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