“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough paths smooth. These are things I will do. I will not forsake them.” – Isaiah 42:16
This morning I read a remarkable story about blind runner Dan Berlin who crossed the Grand Canyon and back in 28 hours. Four of his friends took turns guiding him during that run.
The first time one of Dan’s longtime friends approached him about running the New York City Marathon together, Dan’s response was that he had no idea how to do that. But, his friend’s response was, “Don’t worry. I’ll show you how.”
During his recent run across the Grand Canyon and back, Dan, who followed verbal cues and adapted to each of his friends’/guides’ signals, learned to fully trust each guide. There were treacherous areas where a mistake could be fatal. This is where Dan’s complete confidence was especially important.
A person who becomes vision-impaired is thrust into a life filled with drastic changes, fears and a myriad of uncertainties. They can either go into denial and fold up in a corner or they can jump back into life not knowing what to do and trust the person who is teaching them how to do life a different way. And, like Dan’s wife says, “You don’t look at it as a disability or an inconvenience.” You learn to tackle your challenges one at a time knowing that your guide has your back.
I could not help but compare this to my life. No, I’m not literally vision-impaired, but these last almost five years as a widow, I have been ‘blindly’ going down very scary unfamiliar paths. Some of those pathways have been pitch dark. Some have been so rugged that one wrong move could have thrown me over the precipice. Others were extremely narrow and terribly lonely. Then there were pathways so strewn with jagged rocks that it hurt to make a move.
The good news is that all along my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has been tethered to me as He lovingly and faithfully guided me through every possible pathway scenario. At first my steps were few and filled with uncertainty. Sometimes I held tightly onto the rope that tethered us together and balked because I did not want to make a move. Other times I tentatively allowed a little slack in that rope and took a few steps forward as I heard the gentle voice of my Guide saying, “Don’t be afraid, Candy. I’m right here to guide you. Trust Me. I love you. I won’t fail you now.”
Have I gotten to the place where I have been able to allow some slack in the rope that tethers Jesus and I together? Honestly? Not completely. Am I learning to listen to the voice of my Guide and the cues that He gives me as we walk down this new path of widowhood together? Honestly? Yes, I am and I am finding that more and more I am in tune with Him.
Very hard words for me and ones that strike fear and even anxiety in my heart. Yet, I know that even though I don’t understand why God has allowed this to be part of His plan for my life and even though I am still afraid to totally let go and trust Him, He is the only One that can ever truly and completely be trusted. Why? Because He loves and cares for me like no other ever did or ever will.
What about you? Are you struggling as you follow blindly? Or have you come to the point where you have learned how to let go of the rope that tethers you and God together and follow blindly with complete trust?