I think one of the adventures I loved most in Israel was walking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel under the City of David in Jerusalem. We walked deep beneath the city, and the cool rock surrounding us was a nice reprieve from the hot summer sun. The chilly water that ran along the tunnel shocked my system, but I soon became accustomed to the fluid, invigorating liquid.
I gripped the little flashlight constructed like a harp (symbolic of King David) and followed my friend in front of me, while listening to my tall husband behind me struggle through the sometimes restrictive passages. At one moment, I turned off my flashlight just to experience the utter darkness engulfing me. I loved it. The feeling of being absolutely vulnerable to God was so exhilarating.
There are so many symbolic features that I gained from my walk under the city, but what has stayed with me most is how freeing complete reliance on God can be. When we use our eyes and our own understanding, we may tend to grope to achieve, fix or create things in our self-efforts. We wear ourselves out to accomplish very little in our limited human strength.
I know I’ve personally done this for so many years: trying to achieve God’s promises for me only to fail every time–always exhausted, unworthy and unable. It wasn’t until God stripped me of everything that I could possibly use to achieve my dreams that I finally began to rest in Him. I experienced so much joy and peace when I found myself in the complete darkness of faith.
As I walk in obedience within His rest, I realize that my relationship with Jesus is my dream come true. All along, my promise was the Tree of Life, and the things I was striving so hard to gain were merely fruit found in Him. Submission to God may sound weak, but in actuality, it gives us His supernatural strength. I had to struggle through the slow process of dying to self to understand that I have full, abundant and purposeful life in Christ!
God created us so we can have sweet fellowship with Him. We all have an innate desire to know Him and to enjoy His presence. Sometimes, though, we have to stand still in the darkness to block out all the distractions. God will take those distractions away bit by bit because He loves us. He desires to give us a future and a hope, and He knows that only He has the ability to achieve our best life in us. The most freeing thing we can do is let go of our control and rely solely on God’s sovereignty in our lives.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13.12 NLT).
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29.11 ESV).
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8.28 ESV).
“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19.26 ESV).
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41.10 ESV).