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Into the Unknown
by Maria Franco
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Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness, and streams in the desert." Isaiah 43:19

Life at every step is a shot in the dark, a walk into the unknown. We can never really forecast what the next might bring in our lives. Yet, in spite of being completely in the dark about the future, we still continue to walk ahead with every step into an unknown moment which after we have lived through it becomes a known one.

We are in the days of the summit of the Lord’s passion and glory. Jesus knew that the passion cup could not be bypassed without his having sipped into an unknown goblet which contained anguishing moments of horror and pain. He knew his hour had come and he had to walk into the unknown which proved to be a very difficult, tough and life giving moment of his life. Right from the moment of his betrayal until He gave up his last on the Cross, every moment of pain and suffering as it unfolded was a grave moment of immense agony for the Lord. Yet the Lord walked into this path filled with a love that never flinched or grew resentful at the torture of the Roman soldiers and the betrayal of his own sheep whom he had lovingly taught to and preached for so many months.

We can well imagine the Lord’s feelings on the night of the Last supper, a knife like pain to be sitting and sharing a meal for the last time with the ones he had loved and lived with for so long. He knew the forthcoming day was the day which would accomplish his very reason for coming into this earth, he knew his death was imminent but human in nature, we can well perceive the thoughts running in his mind as to the events that he would have to endure all the way to Calvary with the heavy cross and the final nailing and piercing. Long after he had walked and passed through a passion which now had become a known one for all of mankind for generations yet to come.

Mary, his mother also lived a life into the unknown right from the moment of the Savior’s birth. Starting with the exultation of the angels at Bethlehem, the visit by the Shepherds and the wise men to the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, the prophecy of Simeon and the loss of the Child at Jerusalem with his answer that He was busy with his father’s work, Mary stored all these things in her heart. She knew He had to do the Father’s will but every event in the life of Jesus was a new revelation unfolding before her eyes. Her own trauma watching her Son undergo a bitter passion, the events of his crucifixion and death was something she was not prepared for. Yet, she followed her Son all the way to Calvary giving him the desired courage and strength with her presence. It was truly a journey into a painful unknown.

When Nicodemus met Jesus for the first time, the Lord told him that he had already seen him standing under the tree before he approached him. Nicodemus was taken aback by this answer and he recognized Jesus as one come from God. When Jesus further tells him that unless a man is born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, Nicodemus failed to understand what the Lord meant. Jesus had to explain that it was the Spirit that gives us a new life. This was yet unknown to him or for that matter to the disciples whom Jesus promised to send the Helper. Only after the powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit, they realized that their own walk into the unknown had yielded great fruit for the whole world as they set about to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

We are all well aware of the mortality of our own lives. We all have to give up our spirit one day and face the resurrection. What lies in the next world is unknown to us. Yet we know that this world is passing. We have to live another life for eternity in the coming world but we do not know yet what this world will hold for us. We only have the promise of Christ that He has prepared a splendid dwelling place for us.

We also do not know where our near and dear ones abide in the next world. Each one of us has to pass through this moment at the time when we draw our last, a climb of our souls into the unknown, the passage of life from one world to another just as the Lord passed through these moments until his resurrection. We follow him in the secure knowledge that He will guide us safely through this unknown phase into a known realm.

Until then, we face the challenges that each day brings into an unknown morn and unknown eve. Our walk can help us be a powerful witness to the Lord if we make up our minds to turn every unknown moment into the Lord’s moment. We read in Jeremiah 29:1; “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome."

At times, life may swerve sharply and the unknown can cause a drastic upheaval in our lives which we cannot come to terms with for a long period of time. In such moments, it would do well to remember the words of a very popular hymn; “There are days, there are ways, weeks and months we cannot understand God’s ways. If for years we fail to scan what is his eternal plan, Then, we’ll know that he always can, in his time.”

We may fail to understand the deeper meaning behind many events in our life and ask the Lord; “Why?” But, he alone knows why such unknown moments happened in our life and he will ensure that as we keep walking into the unknown, we will one day reach the known threshold of heaven where the gates can only lead us into a surely known marvelous life with the Lord for all times.

Maria Franco

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