Restful Captivity Beneath The Avalanche

Concerning that avalanche I wrote about yesterday in my post… I just keep thinking about you there… underneath all that snow… no one knowing your location… nor where to begin to help you out… So here’s a sort of story I wrote… about you…


There you are, trapped, yet well cared for. You have food. Every morning there it is, on the table, fresh, from seemingly no where… You have your huge coat. It keeps you warm and it provides a soft bed on which to sleep. You still have your ipod, by which to listen to the praise music you’d once downloaded onto it. You still have your Bible. It was in your coat pocket when the catastrophe hit.

And you still have that hollowed out place, with plenty of room to move around, that He, God, made for you.

How did you get to that shelter? Well, He shone a light, like a flashlight, at His feet. He told you to trust Him, to follow Him, and said He would never leave you. So He led you… and now here you are… in a spacious enough room, but still, a room of uncertainty. You thought He was leading you all the way out, but instead, He stopped here. He put the light on the table and it became a candle. He again told you that He would never leave you, but then He left. Or so it seemed. I mean, you never did see His face. In fact, you never had really heard his voice… except in your spirit. Now you can’t even see His feet…

But you remember He said to trust Him. He’d reminded you several times that He would never leave you. Could He maybe, just maybe, still be in the room with you? Even if you can’t see Him? Somehow you do still feel His presence… You feel peace. So you talk to Him, and often you hear Him answer, or tell you things, especially when you are reading your Bible. Other times, though, all seems so quiet. Like He has truly left. Like the snow cave becomes a lonely prison, wanting to engulf you, telling you your God has definitely abandoned you. And that He does lie. This makes you sob.

You try hard to remember what He said… So you get your Bible. Nothing… this time… No comfort. So you weep some more… for hope is gone… Suddenly you make a decision. It’s about the candle. It was used to lead you here; maybe it can be used to lead you out to safety. True, you wouldn’t know which way to start digging; but it’d be worth a try. The candle could even melt the snow, and it’d be light for the way.

So you go to the table and carefully take ahold of the candle-holder. It won’t budge. You pick away some wax at the bottom, vaguely realizing that this candle should have gone out weeks ago. But the candle won’t move. In fact, its flame flickers and almost goes out. You try again. Again, it’s immovable.

Now, anger and frustration well up. The sense of being completely at the mercy of circumstance, of having no control over anything about your situation, you go lay down. And you just wail. You cry out to God. You are so angry, fearful, lonely, hopeless, weak… and knowing you have nothing to offer Him, not even praise, you finally resort to one word: …”Mercy.”

Nothing seems to change. So you mumble the word a few more times, through tired sobs, and soon, because there are no tears left to shed for the time being, you lay there quietly and eventually drift off to sleep.

When you wake, you wake to the same white lonely walls, and you wish you could’ve died in your sleep. But a gentle whisper seems to float your way, telling you to get up and eat. Not having many other options, you do so, and soon you do feel better. Hope is renewed.

This happens periodically. You decide to take measures to avoid its frequency. You concentrate on all the blessings and diligently keep yourself in communion with God. You exercise and study. You pray for all those who you’ve ever known. You memorize Scripture. You sing. You wait. Nothing happens… except that your hope stays intact. And that, in itself, you well know, is most valuable!

Besides all this, you just rest. Because maybe, you realize, once you are rescued, the journey out may be strenuous, and may require sufficient rest beforehand. Or maybe, the assignments, once you’re out in the world again, will require having been prepared with rest, as well as the training in patience and the knowledge of God.

All these thoughts help. They help a lot. And since the impression from God remains, that impression that you will one day be delivered, you decide to settle down to a contented wait, learn from your situation, and even enjoy the present.

One day you wake to some scratching. A large and furry animal is at your table, reaching for some food there. Not sure of the nature of this beast, you remain quiet, unmoving. You watch as it bustles about, reaching, gobbling, round and round the table sniffing. After your heart slows, it dawns on you that being this forest creature has not been with you these long months, it had to have come in from none other than the outside world! In one swoop of thought, you realize you are saved!

And so you are. For you watch as the animal bumbles over to one wall, then pushes itself down into what appears not to be there, and disappears. You run over. Your hands slide quickly across the wall of the snow cave. Then you see it. A crack down low. You could not have seen it in the dim light, being all was white snow, unless you knew it was there. You stick your head in. It’s very dark. No matter. You know this is the way out, and you take it, risk and all. It’s slow going, a tight squeeze. You try not to remember that earlier in life you were claustrophobic. You try not to envision the animal meeting you up ahead with bared teeth. You try not to think about the possibility of the passageway crumbling in on you and you dying from suffocation in the end anyway.

So you sing quietly. You thank God for the deliverance.

You crawl, for what seems like hours, through many twists and turns, no light shining this time, only your hands groping ahead for the open passageway. At last you see a light ahead. As you near, you know it is sunlight. Finally, you are there. The mouth of the hole opens to a snowy field, a house across, children playing there, a piano’s music vaguely heard.

You drink in the cool, fresh air. You are okay. You are out. The avalanche did not kill you. It instead taught you… taught you many things.

“In fact,” you say to yourself, “Why did I ever doubt?” And as you slowly walk toward the house, you glance back, actually wishing you had taken advantage of the training a little more.


That’s my “story” for you today, my dear suffering friend. I wrote it to encourage you.



~ by smilesback on September 30, 2009.

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