The Still Small Voice

Perspectives Through Pressure: Light Before the Tunnel


Chapter Seven, Part Three


Light Before the Tunnel

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful unto death . . . You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. (Rev. 2:10; John 12:35)

Ros and I were enjoying a few days holiday in a beautiful part of the country when the Lord dropped His bombshell. Clearly and distinctly He told me that we were about to go through such an intensely difficult time that we would only be able to cope by remembering how He had delivered us in the past from seemingly impossible situations.

Two characters make up the Chinese word for crisis. One, predictably, translates as ‘danger.’ The other, more intriguingly, means ‘opportunity’. Within every crisis lies the possibility that God will intervene to turn things round and accomplish something entirely new.

We have a stack of testimonies how the Lord has ‘airlifted’ us out of difficult dilemmas. When the pressure is really on, however, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and to forget to use the memory of these deliverances as a ‘springboard’ for faith. It blesses the Lord when He sees us trusting both His promises and His character.

Within weeks the attacks against Ros intensified greatly. We were plunged into an unremittingly grim ordeal. A friend had a picture that because the doors of our house were being so tightly guarded that Ros had no option but to climb into a basket outside the bedroom wall and make her escape.

Others saw, in picture form, that this basket was attached to a balloon which would whisk us south. Like Saul, who had to be placed in a basket and let down the walls of Damascus, Ros’s departure from Shetland was both swift and traumatic. By the Lord’s mercy we were not permanently injured and the unexpected balloon flight led to the next stage of our pilgrimage.

Following the Lord’s leading may leads us into the zone of maximum conflict – just as it did for Jesus Himself. The more significant the project, the more intense the attacks are likely to be.

The Lord sometimes alerts us that trouble is on its way just before we enter some particularly difficult phase. It is important not to be neurotic at this point: the Lord doesn’t only draw close when there is rough weather ahead! Neither should we blame Him when these difficult times arrive; the trials were already on their way, and it is simply His kindness to alert us in advance, as well as to bolster us by giving some specific word or special sense of His presence to hang on to.

For Reflection and Prayer

When God is going to do something important, He allows us to see all the difficulties first. When He is going to do something magnificent, however, He allows it to appear completely impossible.

Customise this thought to some situation that you are currently concerned about!