Darkness encompassed us, coming up from behind and stretching out as far as the eye couldn’t see. Mixed with the darkness was the rain, rain which brought out the smell of gravelly dirt and the sagebrush and juniper on either side of the path. Soaked as it were by the sky, I kept walking. We all did.
It sounds surreal, like a scene from a gloomy nightmare or depressing movie, but this scenario was very real for me and my classmates. We signed up for a survival class and for the final test went on a four-day excursion to prove our skills. Little did we know that for the first few hours of the trip, our teacher would march us through the desert with no light, no way to tell the time, and no knowledge as to how far we had walked nor how much further we had to go.
None of us had eaten since 6:00 p.m., and we had started the hike around 10:30 p.m. Later, we learned that we had hiked for around four hours and a total of eight miles in that dreary desert, but again, at the time we had no sense of time or distance.
At one point, because of medical issues, one of the girls had to be picked up by a van and brought to the end of the hike. I remember thinking, “Wouldn’t that be nice? I wish someone would just pick me up and take me to the end.”
I thought about life and the past few months, how so much of this past winter I had felt like I was on a metaphorical dark road, hiking through the night with no idea how much further I had to go. Why couldn’t God just pick me up and take me to the end of my trials? Why can’t I be that girl?
And then distinctly I felt the words: Because I know you can do this. That girl couldn’t physically complete that trek– but I could. I was still on that dark road, both physically and metaphorically, because God did know the distance, knew my capabilities, and knew that I would be able to make it through the rain and the darkness to the destination.
If you feel like I did on that desert road, dreading every step and wondering how much further you have to go, remember that someone else has walked that road before. Christ knows you and He knows that road perfectly, and if you haven’t been driven to the end, then know it’s because you can do this. Keep hoping; keep walking.