Every time Noah starts a new round of treatment, I find myself restless. Last night, the trend continued. Going to sleep comes fairly easy; staying asleep is another story altogether. As I woke a couple of hours before dawn, a new analogy of the journey we find ourselves on formulated in my groggy mind. I liken Noah’s months of treatment to an extended spelunking trip….with an experienced guide..but no light sources provided to the tourists.
In this scenario, I pondered how the guide maneuvered through the pitch black recesses of
the cavern without incident. “Must be wearing night vision goggles,” I mused as I stared sleepily at the ceiling. (Of course, such eye wear is yet to be invented, something about a need for ambient light…but the guide utilized something, right?) In this analogical comparison, I imagined my wife and I holding on to the guide’s shirttails, the fabric clinched in our tight knuckled fists. The darkness enveloped our being and yet we pressed on…holding on.
Have you ever visited a cave? Have you ever taken a tour with a guide who at some point along the way turns out all the lights? Do you remember the darkness? How it felt? It’s impossible to see a hand waving in front of your face. In this daydreaming state, the cavern swallowed all light; we saw nothing.
In my arrogant pride, doubting his ability to handle the situation, I let go of the guide, stumbling and pitching into the cave walls, bumping my head on a stalactite. At that moment, I recognized my disobedience, and I remembered his instructions. “No matter what happens, hold on.” I imagined my flailing arms grasping for the guide but coming up empty. I imagined calling out, “Save me.” Thankfully, in this imaginative state, the guide paused and rushed to my aid. With his night vision, he examined the scrapes on my arms and the goose egg forming on my receding hairline. “You’ve gotta hang on,” he encouraged. “I know the way. I see the obstacles. I know when to take a right or left. Trust me.” With gratitude, I clung to his shirttails once again.
Raising a child with cancer feels like the above scenario. At no time do we feel confident that we know what’s going to take place the next day, the next hour, or even the next minute. This journey resembles a cavern exploration with no light, led by a tour guide who we hope knows his business. And of course, He does.
At times, I feel much like Peter, walking on the water, eyes fastened on Jesus, and yet the very next moment a strong gust threatens my balance and for a moment the winds and the waves crash against me, drawing my attention. I sink. Sometimes, I feel the drowning sensation that Peter surely felt. But then Jesus reaches out. Calmly, He scoops me to my feet, while I sputter and gasp for air. Once again I’m reminded that the key is keeping my eyes on Jesus, the “Author and Finisher of my faith.”
During this trial, at no time has God been taken by surprise. God not only walks this path with us, but stands cheering at the finish line…the light at the end of the tunnel…the brilliant glow my family looks forward to seeing for ourselves.
“Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” (Psalm 139:12)
Jesus, the perfect person to take spelunking!