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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Lessons in the Tunnel

Lori Wilkerson Stewart - 700 Club Producer

I was crossing a bridge on my drive home from church. With an excruciating headache, I’d left the Sunday morning service after worship, and now regretted missing the sermon. But, I was well aware the Holy Spirit could speak to me while driving home. So as I came to the bridge I began to think about the bridge being a metaphor for Jesus — his death on a cross made a way for me to come to God. As I thanked the Lord for his sacrifice, I asked the Lord a question, “If bridges have a spiritual meaning, what about tunnels?”

Silently, I waited for an answer. Living near the Atlantic coast, you put up with two things — bridges and tunnels. I prefer bridges because you can see where you’re headed. Tunnels, I strongly dislike. But tunnels are necessary too. As I listened, the Holy Spirit had much to say on the subject.

1. Tunnels allow huge boats to cross above. When we’re in a tunnel we have no idea what’s going on above. For instance, ships too large to sail under a bridge can easily glide over a tunnel. God showed me that when we’re in a place in our lives where it may seem nothing’s happening, He is moving and shifting big things into place. God is leading us into something, but not all the pieces of the puzzle are in position yet.

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)

2. In a tunnel, I can only see directly in front of me. This is what makes me nervous about tunnels. I feel totally dependent on the car in front of me. I can’t take my eyes of his brake lights — if he slows, I must slow. I must stay completely focused. As Christians, we can be assured God is driving the car in front of us, He knows where He’s going, and all we have to do is simply follow Him. In life, sometimes we can’t see down the road. All we can see is today. Therefore, we must live today to the best of our ability, focus on the task at hand, and trust God to reveal more information in time.

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Matthew 8:23 (NIV)

3. In a tunnel, we can’t change lanes. Most of us have experienced God placing us in a position we didn’t choose. Sometimes, we want a new assignment, but God is saying, “Stay where you are. Stand still. Don’t move to the right or to the left, follow me.”

"Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!" 1 Samuel 12:16 (NIV)

So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Deuteronomy 5:32 (NIV)

4. Once we’re in the tunnel, there’s no turning back. If we’ve committed to going into the tunnel, guess what? No U-turns. No stopping. Not even an emergency lane. In fact, if we attempt any of those things, we will cause a dangerous accident affecting everyone else in the tunnel. We’ve all known believers who turned away and quit. Look around at the damage they left behind—pain, hurt, disappointment, divorce, disease, and even death.

Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path. Psalm 44:18 (NIV)

5. There’s light at the end of a tunnel. I love when light appears and I can finally see I’m almost at the end. Any anxiety I feel disappears, and I know I’m going to make it out ok.

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you." Isaiah 60:1 (NIV)

6. Every tunnel takes us to the other side. What’s on the other side? Daylight, fresh air, an open sky, a panoramic view, a new place, a destination, fresh hope, and a bright future — all good things!

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

If we’re in the tunnel, it’s imperative we trust God and stay close to Him — pray, listen, and pray some more. It’s never easy or enjoyable in the tunnel, but it’s only temporary! We will make it to the other side!

Lori Stewart © 2011, printed with permission.

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