What you don’t know (unless you’ve walked it) is all that’s involved when a prodigal runs. When he heads full bore to a far-distant land. When the lamb that you love, he goes missin’.
You don’t know.
You can’t know sleepless nights; know the days of despair. Know the bone-deep exhaustion or the miles of questions or the doubts and the worries and fears. You can’t know it.
We couldn’t know it, either, ’til it happened.
What we didn’t know, goin’ into this deal, was that the very things we feared most, God could redeem ’em. That the messiest places, the ugliest stuff wasn’t too big or too messy or too ugly for Him. We didn’t know that when it began.
We didn’t know, either, his two quaking parents, how hot it would get; how fear-deep the waters; or how desolate, how barren the desert. Thank God, we didn’t know it.
But. Somethin’ else we didn’t know was this: that the furnace brings freedom, that the flood plains can break chains, and that His timing can always be trusted. During one hot, dry summer, weeping aloud as we walked country roads, we didn’t know, couldn’t see it. But we know it now. ‘Cause we see it…
It was the other night as we were talkin’ by phone that he told it. He’d gone out late one night ‘neath God’s great, black night sky. He was desperate. That’s how he said it, so he did what he now knows to do–he cried out.
“And then I listened. I was just layin’ there, lookin’ up.” Above him, Heaven’s blanket all pin-pricked with stars winking and blinking on high. Beneath him, a carpet of grasses, a meadow of green. And around him, the darkness of night. Listening. Waiting.
All at once, a light point appeared, tracing circle upon circle. It was a firefly.
In a difficult time, in day’s latest hour, it was as though God Himself had come. Then, bending low, great hand opening, He’d placed a sweet light right before him.
Just for him.
I thought of you, and I thought of me, too. How we’re all usually walkin’ through somethin’. Your path will look diff’rent. Your furnace will, too, but He’s workin’ our freedom and redemption.
In the blackest of times, in the darkest of nights, He comes, bending low, great hand opening. And He places a light just before you. Just for you.
And just for me, too. Yes, I know it. Oh, I know it, for I’ve seen it.
“Let there be light (Gen. 1:3).”