When I was younger so much younger than today I worked as a youth worker. On one occasion I took a group of preteens to an organized day of games at a local forest. The games were mainly complicated versions of hide and seek and the day finished with a game in the dark. Each leader had to take their team out into the dark woods and hide and my team was determined to win. We ran along a path and when we were out of sight of the start we headed off the path into the forest itself. After a while, just in case we could still be seen we turned out torches of and continued to move steadily forwards into the darkness.
Eventually we found a good hiding spot and we crouched in the dark and then we waited and then we waited some more and then we waited even longer. After a long time of waiting, one of the young people said they were scared. Fear, I found out in that moment is infectious and before long quite a few of them were sounding scared and so we switched our torches on and began to head back. Well I say that we began to head back but the truth was that we had been hiding for so long that I had no idea which way back was. We headed in the direction that might have been back but wasn’t for a while before the sobbing started again (from the youngsters, not me).
‘We’re lost aren’t we’ someone said. I admitted we were but that it would be okay because we had an emergency whistle which I then blew. Then we waited, and waited some more and then …. nothing. So I blew it again, and again and still nothing. The sobbing was getting even louder at this point (still not from me though although I felt like it!) and that is when Tom (aged 11) said ‘you always talk about praying, so can we pray now?’ I prayed a very religious prayer and it went something like this, ‘God, we are lost and we need help’. As I said amen (and I have never heard such an enthusiastic amen from a group of people) I noticed a light that appeared and then started moving towards us. As it got closer we wondered what it might be and then out of the trees came one of the strangest sights that I have ever seen. A man wearing a helmet with a light on it on emerged and he was wearing more lycra than any man should be allowed to wear. He asked us if we were okay and I explained what had happened and he then pointed us in the direction of the car park. We headed that way and as we stumbled out of the trees onto the path there was great relief amongst all of us. We even got back just in time for the end of the game and we hadn’t been found which I guess made us winners?
What causes fear, stress and anxiety in your life? As we travel through life will we turn to God in each and every situation asking him to lead us forward?
I came across this picture many years ago and it has been very meaningful to me since. No matter how dark things seem, I have the light of God with me and the promise of Jesus is that he is with me always.
When life feels dark, remember to call on God and trust in him. He will lead you through.
This picture was given to me by someone else and I don’t know where it came from or who the artist is. If you are the artist or if you can help me find out where it came from do get in touch.