Janice S Ramkissoon
21st October 2010
How Dark is Your Tunnel Today?
The tunnel experiences of our lives can sometimes cause us to limp or fall. But fear not! God has provided a remedy for each case. In Galatians 6:2 we are told “bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." So if you are limping today, know that others are praying for you so that one day you will be able to stand again. In verse one of the same chapter, we read, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” So if you have fallen under the pressure, the door is open for restoration to take place. God has not given up on you.
The tunnel itself is multifunctional. As followers of Christ it brings us to our knees—building up our prayer muscles. That is a good thing! Because this is where we are being processed so we can become vessels of honour, fit to be used by God. Nevertheless, being in the tunnel can also cause us to lose faith, if we are not grounded in the truth. That is why it is important for us to feed on the word of God. Allowing the word of truth to be planted in our hearts that they may grow, and bear fruit. Being firmly grounded in the truth, will guard our hearts and minds from the lies that the enemy will feed us, while we are in the tunnel.
Today, I’m asking God to guide my thoughts and my actions so I will not go where He doesn’t lead. I am going through another tunnel at present and though I believe that the previous tunnels I’ve gone through served their purpose in developing my prayer muscles and drawing me closer to God, I find that each tunnel experience is just as dark and painful as the one before. But I was twice reminded this year, to focus on the light in the tunnel which is JESUS. My first reminder was through a diary entry I made on the 24th June 2010 [God knew what was coming and was preparing me for the journey.] My second reminder was via a sermon delivered at our last women’s Sunday service, 10th October 2010. I cried bitter tears because somehow I knew what to do – Focus on the LIGHT—JESUS, putting all my trust in Him to make a way for me but while you are going through, it can sometimes become such a lonely, dark, painful journey. You can’t share with others the depth of your struggles and you feel guilty when you don’t accept their offer to help; knowing that in order for them to help, you would have to tell it all—yet you’re not in a position to do so. Then you are judged by some, who when you reveal a portion of your struggle, they seem to see it as nothing compared to what they have had to endure and so they belittle your struggle and leave you feeling even worse.
It is through the tunnel experiences of our lives that we learn some of the greatest lessons. Life lessons, God intends for us to learn on our journey with Him. However, the tunnel is also the devils territory—the place where the most darts are thrown at us. It is in the tunnel that the enemy has the greatest opportunity to rob, kill and destroy (St John 10:10a). He will rob us of our sleep; keeping us up worrying about the situation—even though we know in our hearts that we should present the case to God and leave it there for Him to take care of it. It’s dark in the tunnel—pitch black. So being surrounded by darkness, afraid to go back where we are coming from and afraid to move forward into the unknown, we can become overwhelmed and want to give up. It cripples us—we feel trapped. The enemy uses this opportunity to rob us of our sanity [when we are losing sleep, exhaustion becomes the way of life and we aren’t able to work in an organised way because our mind is no longer functioning clearly]. This is where the opportunity to kill the desire to continue on the rough and rugged path presents itself. No longer do we want to continue doing the things we enjoyed doing—we feel we can’t carry on. We don’t want to gather with the saints because [out of love] they’ll ask questions we’re not able to answer fully. And through this the enemy will succeed in either bringing us to a point of spiritual stagnation or spiritual death. Once this takes place he has already succeeded in destroying each ministry we are involved in. Our faith, family, friendship...
God’s word says that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) that means it doesn’t matter if we are on the mountain top or down in the valley, He is still there providing the much needed light for us. If we are struggling to sing His praises—He is still there with us and can help us to get our praise on. All we have to do is say: “Lord, please strengthen me today, help me to praise You today.” If we are sad, He is still there with us and once we’re reminded of this, our smile will return. If we are surrounded by chaos, He is still there with us. Why is that? This promise is unconditional. So when we feel we can’t share our struggles or have no one to talk to or can’t feel the love coming from those who we’re connected to, we can talk to Him. We know that He will gently whisper in our ear—“I LOVE YOU. YOU ARE MY BELOVED CHILD." We know that He will send someone who understands our pain to provide a much needed word of advice or encouragement that will provide the comfort we need. He will impress on someone to make that call or send that email, write that letter or ring the doorbell. What a mighty God we serve!
If you are going through one of your tunnel experiences today, remember that you are not alone. Though the road gets lonely and you get weary, this too shall pass. Allow God to hold you in His loving arms. Believe His word and plant them in your heart. Feed on His word daily. Drink from the well that will never run dry. Talk to your Secret Keeper, He is interceding for you at this very moment. He knows who to reveal it to [a mature believer who will intercede on your behalf] and they will not spread your business around town. And when you don’t know what to say, just call His name--JESUS! There is power in His name. There is healing in His name. He is the light that pierces through the darkness. Whatever doors need to be closed in your life, He will close them and no one can re-open them. The doors that need to be open He will open them for you and no man on earth can close them, unless He allows them to. With a repentant heart, confess your sins to Him (see 1st John 1:9). He will cast them into the sea of forgetfulness.
Each struggle we overcome makes us that much stronger to deal with the next.
So go through my brother! One songwriter says: “…if it ain’t one thing then its another. Instead of getting easier its harder, to make it through the day. But God promised that days like these would come but He’d be with you. The good, the bad, its all working for you.’ So hold on my brother, don’t give up! And don’t give in to the temptation that presents themselves in the tunnel, “For the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished” (1st Peter 2:9). The battle is not yours it is the Lord’s, you just keep on praising Him and He will fight your battles for you.
My dear sister, “You feel the load is more than you can handle. And you wonder, Lord, how much longer! But after the night, it’s gonna be sunshine so much brighter. You’ll be alright…” Weeping may endure for a night [your night may last for many years or just a few weeks or months] but know that joy surely comes in the morning.
Brothers and sisters, Joy comes in the morning. So focus on the light in the tunnel so that fear will not grip you and cause you to turn back or stay in the dark for too long. Allow Christ to be the light that guides you through the tunnel and reach the finish line on the other side of the tunnel. Then you will say like the writer of this song:
“I’m stronger, than I was before, I’m better, smiling so much more, I'm wiser, now I know that I'm stronger..."
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This will bless many souls in abundance! Your writing is powerful and it is a source to the trouble heart, you should just stand before the masses and teach the word of God! This is but one forum, God is calling you to greater works...get ready to open the flood gates...as your words begin to change lives!
Janice, I am always blessed to read of your victorious triumphs as you face this life's trials. Your victory comes in truly knowing your Savior and that He has overcome the world. To focus on Him, and Him alone is our strength to endure. Blessings to you for a steadfast faith and "tunnel vision" revealing our light and hope without distraction - after all, light shines brighter out of the darkness! Two of my previous pieces came to mind as I read through this insightful article if I may share. Love you, Janice! Jody ... Jesus, are You there? ; What Would Jesus Do?