A few weeks ago on a chilly evening, I was cycling along my neighborhood nature trail. Each time I ride on that trail, I take the same route that passes by a lengthy wall of tall, grassy reeds. There are times when the sun looks close enough to touch and, on this particular evening, I stopped to take a picture of it.
As I prepared to take my shot, I noticed something I had never seen before. There was a beautiful scene of the sunset shining light between each of the reeds, but there is something else that cannot be seen. On the other side of the wall of reeds was a deep, swampy creek. If anyone tried to set foot through the reeds, they would not notice the dark water lurking below until they had already fallen into its depths.
That is when I had the realization: How often do we see happiness within our reach and then abruptly fall into a deep pit we cannot seem to escape from? These days, times of happiness are so casually overtaken by the looming darkness in the world.
A flickering flame
Studies have shown that the human eye has the ability to see the tiny flame of a candle in the night from up to 30 miles away. When trudging through times of despair, we often focus only on how the light is flickering and growing more faint in the dark. What we don't focus on is that there still is a light, and no matter how small it may be, that light is there to guide you.
Pray and ask God for help when your path to light is blocked by dangerous waters. God is your lifesaver. He is there to keep your head afloat and help you tread your way across. When you feel as if you are fully immersed in darkness, focus not on what continues to push you down but on the tiny light that beckons you closer.
Through even the direst circumstances, God still has time to shed light on the most beautiful things in your life each day. He is there to act as your personal map to ensure you arrive to your destination safely and stronger than you ever were before. There is no greater comfort than knowing you do not walk alone at any moment of your trial.
A shining beacon
Through the deepest pits of depression and despair, once you begin to walk toward light, it will grow more and more vibrant. Though the wall of reeds shrouded my view of the gorgeous sunset, there were still small glimpses of the orange and purple hues breaking through the gaps.
The most devastating trials can often come so unexpectedly that there is no time to grab hold of something to keep you from falling into pits of darkness. In times when you cannot navigate your way, do not be afraid to ask for help. Help from God or from the other light bearers in your life is always within your reach. There are so many lights surrounding you that are willing to help you see clearly again. One small flame can become a bright beacon of hope and faith.
When you reach for happiness but find yourself tumbling into the dark, murky swamps of life instead, do not give up. Look once more for light. Hold onto it and do not let it slip way. The flame may be so faint that you cannot see it clearly, but it is there, and the closer you get, the brighter it will become.
The sun will always set, only to rise again. With time, your own light that was once so fragile and small will grow large enough to guide others through their times of darkness as well.
Chakell Wardleigh has a Bachelor of Arts in English. She spends her days silently (mostly) correcting others' grammar. She adores all things nerd, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Shakespeare, and anything else that whisks her away from reality. She currently works as an editor for the FamilyShare team. You can usually find her with her nose in a book, laughing too loudly, or belting out songs from Hamilton.