For my son’s twelfth birth­day, he wanted to ex­plore un­der­ground cav­erns near our home. I was less en­thu­si­as­tic, but de­spite my ef­forts to come up with al­ter­na­tives, he couldn’t be dis­suaded, so on a blis­ter­ing hot day, my sis­ter-in-law and I set out with our three chil­dren. Walk­ing into the mouth of a huge cave, my heart was pound­ing, but soon I was pleas­antly sur­prised to see the gen­tly slop­ing walk­ways, clean and well lit. As we de­scended fur­ther, it felt as if the air con­di­tion­ing had been turned on.

As we read the signs and stud­ied the rock and crys­tal for­ma­tions, we be­gan to ap­pre­ci­ate rocks in an en­tirely new light. What might have seemed in­scrutable in the dark­ness, glis­tened beau­ti­fully in the col­ored spot­lights. We spent hours un­der­ground and re­turned to ground level with a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the won­ders of God’s cre­ation and the breath­tak­ing beauty of hid­den things.

I was at a point in my life when I felt like I was lost in some cav­erns spir­i­tu­ally. My world had flip-flopped and I felt dis­tant from all I had ever known. I also felt quite iso­lated and pur­pose­less. But a few hours in the cav­erns helped me to have a new per­spec­tive.

One thing I was re­minded of is that God is light and in Him is no dark­ness at all. Even in a place that

1 might seem ter­ri­fy­ing, His light is there to guide each step and keep me from fall­ing. Not only does His light pro­tect me, but it helps me to see the beauty that is around. My life is filled with light as long as I am in His pres­ence.

Some­times God’s path leads to a place in the shad­ows. It takes time for our eyes to ad­just to the changes and see things as they are. But even in the dark­ness there is growth and beauty and or­der. Like my son ex­plor­ing the cav­erns that day, I re­al­ized that I needed to have a sense of fun and ad­ven­ture.

It also made me ap­pre­ci­ate those who had gone be­fore. Some­one had gone down into the dark­ness and had worked to make it a safe place, plac­ing lights and signs. I re­al­ized that I needed to spend more time read­ing de­vo­tional ma­te­rial from those who un­der­stood the sit­u­a­tion I found my­self in. They can help teach me some deeper lessons of faith and en­cour­age me to con­tinue to trust God’s lov­ing hand and di­rec­tion in my life.

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