Floundering with my father is among my most cherished childhood memories. Armed with a beat-up Coleman lantern, two gigs, a stringer . . . we'd head to the water. When the sky got nice 'n' dark, we'd wade in about knee-deep.
Floundering with my father is among my most cherished childhood memories. Armed with a beat-up Coleman lantern, two gigs, a stringer . . . we'd head to the water. When the sky got nice 'n' dark, we'd wade in about knee-deep and stumble off into the night.
By and by we'd round the point about a mile away from the bay cottage where the other members of the Swindoll tribe were. And here we were—knee-deep in muddy, cold salt water, with nothing but thick darkness in front of us. To this day I remember looking back wistfully over my shoulder toward that ever-so-tiny light in the distance.
Soon I began asking myself why. Why in the world had I agreed to come? And if I asked him once, I must have asked a dozen times, "How much longer, Daddy? When are we gonna turn around?"
While he was searching for flounder, I was listening for those marvelous words, "Well, Son, this is far enough. Let's turn around." Instantly, I found myself wading on tiptoes, caring nothing about finding some poor flounder—only that light, that tiny signal in the distance that assured me my dad really knew the way. Once spotted, my entire personality changed. My anxieties were relieved. My questions were answered. Hope lit the darkness like a thousand lanterns . . . Hope—how powerful is its presence.
Take from us our wealth and we are hindered. Take our health and we are handicapped. Take our purpose and we are slowed, temporarily confused. But take away our hope and we are plunged into deepest darkness . . . stopped dead in our tracks, paralyzed. Wondering, "Why?" Asking, "How much longer? Will this darkness ever end? Does He know where I am?"
Then the Father says, "That's far enough," and how sweet it is! Hope revives and washes over us.
Are you ready for a light at the end of your tunnel? Look! There it is in the distance. It may be tiny, but it's there. You made it! Your Father knew exactly where He was going. And why. And for how long. That cottage in the distance? You'll soon be there, laughing and singing again with the family. One day your journey into darkness may be one of your most cherished memories.
There is nothing like light, however small and distant, to put us on tiptoes in the darkness.