Fun story / example about how I am so constantly reminded that Jesus can easily be found in the depths of darkness - about a week ago I was hiking by myself in Pisgah Forest and went off trail (because my directions told me to lol - but it was still a mistake), and got very lost. I spent about 30 minutes heading in the wrong direction and off of a trail before I realized it was happening. And once I did realize it, I had no idea where I was. At all! My most immediate reaction was one of overwhelming fear, because nobody knew where I had been hiking (another mistake - I learned quite a few lessons that day).
And although I continued to be fearful of my situation, I quickly turned my gaze towards Jesus, because if I hadn't I would have collapsed into a heap of anxiety and despair right there in the middle of the woods.
It took a bit of time, but I eventually did happen across the trail again, and got back to my car before it got dark. The only real tragedy was that I ruined my brand new All Birds, which I was so excited to share with you! But, all in all, it was not a steep price to pay.
In hindsight, my horrifying hike experience seems an awful lot like a parallel to real life. There are times were we feel suffocated and lost and alone, but we never are. Christ's hand will guide us back to safety (aka himself) every time. He is a faithful God, one who has never once left our side.
I can't help but wonder that, perhaps, he allows us to travel off trails into more *adventurous* territory because that is where we are forced to fall on our knees and recognize our need for him. Because although it is our greatest need in the world, we're not very good at realizing it. But a God of infinite wisdom and love recognizes our need, and helps us realize it by bringing us to the end of ourselves so that we may find and rely on him.
If that is the case, and I believe it is, then I pray that God keeps me constantly at the end of myself so that I may be always reminded of my need for him, and how it is greater than any other.
Because this year I have spent a lot of time in God's presence, more time than in my whole life, and I've been at the end of myself more consistently than I ever have. But even that added time with Jesus isn't enough. As Jenn Johnson sings in "In Over my Head," I'm full but I'm not satisfied.