“Desperate days are the stepping stones on the path of light. They seem to be God’s opportunity to provide our school of wisdom.” An excerpt from “Streams in the Desert” devotional
At my age, it’s often easier to take the escalator than the stairs. Many days, I prefer easy and convenient, where I am given the choice.
Most of us tend to view life the same way. We wouldn’t choose the difficult way, or the desperate times, if we had any say in the matter. In fact, we often tend to seek the path which avoids them. This is understandable, but not beneficial. For it is the desperate situations we face which alight the steps and release the song that opens the door of wisdom’s school to us.
I imagine it much like the scene from a movie in which a desperate princess, facing an ominous bridge, steps hesitantly and is surprised to find a stone which lights up and releases a melodic note. Suddenly she becomes aware that there must be more, that the rest of the treacherous path must contain more such stones, and that those stones, together, must not only lead her to a destined place, but possess the song which opens the door and grants her entrance there.
She must, then, summon the courage to take the next step rather than turn back and hide from the dangers ahead. If she is desperate enough to see something other than what’s behind her, she will choose the difficult way before her.
The Hidden Gem in the Path
This, of course, is not just the stuff of fairy tales or suspenseful entertainment. In reality we, too, will have to make such choices in our lives. But the thing to remember when we encounter such a desperate path is that our souls are there prompted to cry out for wisdom, and wisdom – Scripture assures us – God freely and graciously grants. On one condition: that we ask in faith. The real beauty of desperate days, however, is that faith is hidden within them.
Think about it: even people who are far from God know to call on God when a crisis hits. It’s almost like a natural instinct. When it’s bigger than we can see our own way through, we know there is One who can help, One Whose strength is greater than our own. So crisis proves to be a gift to people, to families and to nations, for we are often led to trust in God again through them. If we are receptive, God grants the gift of faith, and that faith leads us to the source of all true wisdom: Jesus. We gain, then, much more than we have lost, and what made us desperate ultimately proves to make us rich.
An Appointed Step
In every desperate situation we meet with, faith is embedded in the staircase which leads us into and through it. So, rather than looking for the escalator and hoping to cruise right through – or maybe around it – we are instead invited to take a deep breath and bravely face what has been placed in our path.
As we do, I believe we’ll find that quite the opposite of what we fear will prove to be true. Rather than a misstep, the desperate situation in front of you, which begs you on toward wisdom’s door, is an appointed step. And God has plans to educate and mature you in ways you cannot yet imagine – if you will only embark, and believe.
What dark and mysterious path awaits you just now? What lies beyond your understanding and perplexes your soul? What do you fear and dread and maybe find your soul resisting in this hour? I urge you, even as I urge myself, to embrace it! Seize the mustard seed of faith which God has hidden in the soil of the difficulty, and step in, daring to believe that, indeed, there will be light at the end of the dark tunnel before you.
You and I do not travel this dark and desperate path alone. God goes with us, before us, and stands guard behind us. He is ever present and always working to defend us and protect us and to bring good things out of our sufferings. It may be hard for us to imagine, even as we are taking our first steps into difficult and desperate situations, but we must believe that God will lead us through, and we will obtain the pearl of wisdom waiting on the other side. We will be richer for having traversed this way. And the riches we gain will be used to enrich the lives of others who are facing their own desperate times.
May we be a culture of women who do not run from desperate and fearful situations, but rather bravely face and enter into them with a faith that leads us to glory’s door. For it is promised that she who takes the narrow and difficult path will there find life. We are life-givers, and so we need what is hidden within our trials, that we may release it to the waiting world.
I bless you today to boldly face the hard places in your life, and to there discover all which God has reserved for you! And I solemnly swear that I will do the same. Together, we will rise, and together, our light will shine bright enough to lead others through the way which we have bravely gone. My heart yearns for the stories we will hear in Heaven of the light which a faint heart saw in the distance and was strengthened by, for I will know that I was a part of that great victory.
May you accept the invitation to be a part of it too, beloved woman of breakthrough! It will surely be worth all the trouble we will taste.
“One woman awake awakens another, the second awakens her next door neighbor, and three awake can rouse the town, and turn the whole place upside down. And many awake can raise such a fuss that it finally awakens the rest of us. One woman up, with dawn in her eyes, multiplies.” -Author Unknown