On a recent trip to Greece we ventured on a guided tour to a near by waterfall attraction. Mid-way through our tour guide explaining the features of the surroundings, in broken English, he told us to “take off shoes”, and pointed to a narrow tunnel with water running through it. We followed his instructions, taking off our shoes, trailing behind his enthusiastic guidance into this dark tunnel.
Anxiety quickly kicked in. It was one way. Totally dark. Narrow. And there was no end in sight. You could only hear the sound of water running over your bare feet.
For someone who has a fear of rising water levels in enclosed spaces, everything in me wanted to turn around. But there were people behind me. The traumatic walk through the tunnel of doom, went on and on and on for about 300 metres!
The moment peace came was when I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I knew the end of was near. The hope of getting out was possible.
Hope is important.
In the 1950s, an experiment was performed on rats. It was discovered that they could swim in high-sided buckets of circulating water for only about 15 minutes in order to stay alive. After that, they would give up and sink. But when the swimming rats were rescued briefly and then put back in the water, they managed to swim for up to 60 hours. How is that possible? It was concluded that it was because the rescued rats were given hope – the hope that they would be rescued. This hope empowered them to keep on swimming!
When the human spirit has no hope, when we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, we sink into anxiety and depression.
Imagine not knowing if and when your dreams would be fulfilled. Imagine feeling like you are the only one in control of your future. Imagine not knowing if you will ever have enough. Imagine not knowing if there is more for you. Imagine not knowing what happens after death. Imagine not knowing if there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel you are in.
Sadly this is exactly how many people live. They have no sure and certain hope. Their hope is in things that can be gone or have gone in an instant – people, money, themselves. No wonder anxiety levels are sky high!
The story should be different for Christ followers – we have a sure hope. Regardless of the tunnel we are in, we see the light at the end and this gives us the courage and peace to keep moving on.
Romans 15:13, ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’
Hope is not wishful thinking. It’s the assurance of fulfilled promise. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. Guaranteed.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.