Corrie ten Boom wrote:

“When the train goes through a tunnel and the world becomes dark, do you jump out? Of course not. You sit still and trust the engineer to get you through.”

At some point in life, our worlds become dark. I look around at my friends and family. I read and watch the news. I hear stories from old college or high school buddies. I walk into a store or onto JMU’s campus or even to church. I look at faces and it hits like a brick wall. We all have tunnels in our lives.

For some it is a short tunnel where the light at the end is clearly seen. For others its long and dark. Some might find their lives are one long tunnel while others have frequent short ones. For some there are lights in their tunnel; for others the darkness is suffocating.

Just because I am going through my tunnel and my darkness doesn’t mean the train stops. It doesn’t mean other trains aren’t running. Others are in pain, too. In my own life–my sweet Audrey with her broken arm, my grandfather hospitalized earlier this week, Brian trying to manage with his wife’s cancer, Micah’s fear of darkness and nightmares, even Asher’s allergies…that is their pain; their tunnel.

There is so much pain as I look at the world surrounding me–chronic health problems, the loss of parents or spouses or children or siblings or grandparents or cousins, depression, conflict, family members suffering, couples unable to get pregnant, miscarriages, singles longing for marriage and still waiting, unexplained tragedies, job loss, financial struggles and so much more. We all have our tunnels, even if it’s just one week in bed with the flu.

My gut reaction is to run from pain–run far away from it–whether it’s mine or someone else’s. Being real about my pain means being vulnerable. Being real and caring about someone else’s pain means taking a risk. Pain is real. Pain is hard. Pain is ugly. Pain is isolating. Pain is the result of living in a fallen world. Pain is one of Satan’s tools to try to destroy us.

I have learned much about pain by experiencing my own, and I have been convicted, blessed, astonished, hurt, encouraged, and overwhelmed with it all. We all handle our pain differently, but one thing is certain–we all need relationship in our lives. We all need to know someone cares. It is so comforting to hear a simple “I care” from others, and it is such a blessing to say a simple “I care” to others. Ultimately, though, I find the real peace comes in knowing that God cares even more than I can begin to comprehend. He whispers it every day to me in His Word.

I would be foolish to jump off my train into the darkness. Although there are days when I think in my sinful self-reliance that I can do this on my own, one step off that train into the darkness would lead to confusion and chaos. I would lose my way so quickly, unsure of which direction to head, wondering what lay at the side of the tracks, and the fear would consume me.

So I cling to the seat in my train, and I know my Engineer won’t make a mistake. He knows right where I’m heading. My train won’t crash or derail. In fact, some days I make my way to the dining car, and on the menu I see Psalm 16, “He has assigned me my portion and my cup; my lot is secure.” And I feast like a hedon from the portion and cup He has given me–a very full plate of blessings. Other times I go to my sleeping berth, and I find that His “yoke is easy and his burden is light”, and there I find rest for my soul. There are days when I just sit in my seat, holding on for dear life and weeping as I watch the darkness outside the window. Sometimes, I go and I sit in the engine at the feet of the Engineer, and I listen to His voice reassuring me that He loves me and “nothing can separate me from that love”. And I stay on my train.

I have fear, yes, but I have no doubt, because He who promised is faithful, and one day I will reach my destination safe in the arms of my Engineer. It will be a place where there will be no more pain, no more suffering, no more tears… and there I will rejoice with all the others who’ve ridden through their tunnels in Christ alone.

No guilt in life; no fear in death.
This is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand.
Till He returns or calls me home;
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.
(Keith Getty & Stuart Townend)

19 responses to “Tunnels”

  1. Beautifully written. Wow! With your permission, I’d like to give a copy of this to my dad and siblings.


  2. Sherry Misantone Avatar
    Sherry Misantone

    What a blessing to see your faith in Christ! How good it is to be reminded that He controls our destiny. There’s no tunnel that is so deep & dark that He is not there with us sustaining & guiding us. May He continue to uphold you, dear sister-in-law!


  3. Dear Angie,
    You write so powerfully, so beautifully~ I’ve thought that MANY times, and said it to you as well… Each time I read your thoughts, full of dreadful fear deep within your being and feelings of blessing as well…I am encouraged by them and I also think ~ “she’s having a good day today if she’s able to put her feelings into words and on this wonderful site for us to know”. At that point, I thank God for giving you a “good day~” Loving you from across the United States =) Jan Kok p.s. Your little Audrey looks so troubled over her bright blue cast (great picture you captured for us to see)…hopefully she’s getting along in spite of it all.


  4. Dear Sweet Friend,

    There are not words to adequately thank you for your ministry to so many as you cling to Jesus and endure through overwhelmingly painful trials. The Lord is using His gift to you to remind us that “BLESSED is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” ( James 1:12)

    I love you…


  5. Thanks for being so real about what’s going on with you and your family right now. It encourages me to step out remembering that Christ is our power. I love that song, “In Christ Alone” … whenever we sing it at church I feel victorious in Christ, I pray this day that you feel victorious in Christ sweet Angie.


  6. Dear Angie,

    Thank you for this. During my recent 7 month pregnancy tunnel, which included 3 months of hospitalization and unbearable physical pain, I was taught how perfect Christ’s strength is made through our weakness. I also found that some of those who were there cheering me at the beginning grew weary. They could not handle the changes in me physically and mentally from the chronic pain and narcotics. My mother-in-law, who is a hospice nurse, reminded me that people who love you and care for you will eventually have to go back to their lives. She reminded me the phone calls would slow down, the visits would wane and what consumed me moment by moment would only be a thought or a prayer in other’s days.

    I wish I could call you every time I think of you and pray for you. God has placed you on my heart in a way I cannot explain. I know how lonely it can be. I know the peaks and valleys of faith and doubt. God is faithful. He is being glorified through you even now. I love you. Monica Kaye


  7. Angie,
    Your thoughts put into words are such a blessing. Thank you. Praying and thinking of you and your family.


  8. All I can say is…Wow! The truth is beautiful. This meant a lot to me.


  9. Wow! What a powerful testimony. Thanks for sharing!!


  10. Stephen and Lori Byrd Avatar
    Stephen and Lori Byrd

    Dear Angie,
    The Lord is using you to open up hearts.

    We pray for you, as does the church here at Grace Reformed in Mebane:

    “When I am afraid,
    I will trust in You.” Psalm 56.3

    For His greater glory,
    Stephen & Lori


  11. Hi!
    I am coming over from Lysa’s!
    This is absolutely beautiful! And so encouraging. I know when I am facing trials, I will remember that the train is still moving…that I need to just hang on and trust the Engineer!
    Thank you for sharing this!


  12. I’m visiting from Lysa’s blog.
    What a beautiful illustration. Thank you for sharing. I will keep this reminder in my heart – and remember the Sonlight even in the tunnel.



  13. I, too, am visiting from Lysa’s blog. This post really ministered to me. I will praise Him in the tunnel and trust Him to get me through.


  14. Hi there,

    Wanted to drop by and say “Congratulations!” How incredibly exciting. Thanks for sharing yourself with the rest of us. It’s so amazing how God uses our own experiences to bless and minster to each other.

    Praying God’s sweet and abundant blessings upon you!
    Amy in OR


  15. What a wonderful illustration of our faith journey and its’ tunnels…beautifully written…congrats and blessings!


  16. You have a way of words, and you are using this gift to pull us closer to the Father. Thank you, for someone riding through the dark right now, waiting for the Light.


  17. Angie,

    I’m so blessed having stopped her via your link of Lysa’s blog! Congratulations!

    What a powerful message.

    Happy to meet you!

    Rena Gunther


  18. I found your post from Lynn’s blog. Thanks for sharing the quote from Corrie ten Boom and your thoughts on the dark places in our lives. I will remember this illustration.


  19. This was so good. Just so good. I love the pictures in my mind as I read. I will definitely be sharing this one!


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