I had a vision. Well, more like a waking dream. I’m not prone to this type of fancy, actually. (If you know me personally, don’t smirk.) This happened many years ago, but I never forgot it and it has resurfaced in my memory at different times, usually with poignant relevance. Maybe it has come up again now because of the strange world events we find ourselves in at this time on God’s Kingdom calendar.
In my dream, I am walking along a footpath. There are deep woods on the right of me and a towering bank of fog on the left. I am a little concerned because I cannot seem to remember how I got here or where I’m supposed to be going. There is light enough to walk but not enough to see shadows, and I spend some long moments calculating that if I could just see the Sun, I’d know at least which direction I am heading. The further I go, the more afraid I become that I won’t find my way home. Eventually, I realize I am quite desperate and afraid, and the sound of my voice surprises me in the damp silence all around as I cry out, “Lord, help me!”
Immediately an arm shoots through the bank of fog, grabs me and pulls me into the light. I stand in brilliant light looking at Jesus, who simply smiles. Somehow I know that He’s been right there, arm’s length away, this whole time. “I was hoping you’d say that,” He says.
I don’t know about you, but I often find that I go along in my own strength, thinking I can figure things out, or trying to minimize the seriousness or severity of my situation to myself in order not to panic. I forget to remember to call on Him, the One who rescues, delivers and saves.
Psalm 107 is one of the more lengthy psalms and it recounts many of the trials, troubles and sufferings of the children of Israel. And after each depiction of dire circumstances, it says this: Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them, saved them, from their distresses.
Was He able to deliver them at any time? Certainly. He was waiting for them to ask. He waits for us to ask, and it’s our pride that keeps us from doing that. It’s out of His great love for us that He waits for us to ask, because every time He is teaching us that salvation is meant to bring us into relationship with Him. The psalm ends this way: “Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things, and consider the lovingkindnesses of the Lord.”
Let us consider our desperate need of Him, and let us consider the lovingkindness of His way with us. As you navigate these uncertain and foggy days, remember the steadfast love of Christ and remember to ask Him for help. He’s only an arm’s length away, and He is all the light you need to walk the path He has ordained for you.
Until next week, fellow pilgrim, stand still in your neediness and cry out to Him. His arm is not so short that it cannot save. (Isaiah 59:1)