Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hope for When Darkness Threatens

By Donna Pyle

(This devotion was reprinted in the March issue of the Nebraska Family Times. If you would like to read more to “inspire, encourage and motivate you on your Christian walk,” request a
FREE sample issue of the Nebraska Family Times
 by e-mailing your address to or calling (402) 750-3496.)

Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky boasts a specific claim to fame: it's the world's longest known cave system. Containing more than 390 explored miles, early cave guide Stephen Bishop called it a "grand, gloomy and peculiar place."

Twenty years ago, I visited this amazing labyrinth. An adventurous person by nature, I signed up to experience a cave excursion first hand.

The morning dawned crisp as our huddled group awaited to descend into that strange and wonderful world. The tour guide greeted us, counted heads, and our adventure began. With great care we descended 250 feet below the earth’s surface on steep steps through narrow crevices.

Talk about creepy!

Our leg muscles shook from overexertion as we reached the bottom of the cave. The ground leveled off and we found ourselves in a large, cavernous space lit by electricity. Once the tour guide ensured everyone had descended safely—and after issuing the proper warning—he turned off the lights.

Few words can adequately describe the absolute blackness that engulfed us.

The thick, oppressive darkness felt as if it was literally pressing in on me. My chest felt heavy. My breathing came in short gasps. I blinked my eyes frantically. I put my palm in front of my face, but couldn't see it.

I began to panic and stretching out my arms into the darkness. I needed assurance that I wasn't alone.

The tour guide continuously spoke to us in low, smooth tones to remind us of his presence. After a few minutes when our eyes adjusted to the absence of light, he struck a solitary match.

The effect was astounding.

We could clearly see every person in our group and the cave walls and ceiling. The small light had completely expelled the cavernous darkness.

That experience left an indelible impression on me. It illustrated far better than words where the blackness of sin would have taken mankind had Jesus not freely offered His light in the place of our darkness.

We may panic when dark seasons occur, but God's soothing voice speaks volumes of comfort and assurance to us through His Word: 

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you
nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8
"You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light." 2 Samuel 22:29

If you are walking in a dark season, lean in and trust God. You may be shaking from overexertion. Your chest may feel heavy. Take a deep breath and listen for His gentle whispers reminding you of His presence.

The Lord himself will be your light. The only light Who can expel that darkness completely.

You are NEVER alone.

Reprinted by permission of the author.

Donna has written many Bible studies and loves blogging about faith-based issues on her blog Hydrated Living . You can also read more at Artesian Ministries. She’s also on Facebook at “Donna Pyle” and “Artesian Ministries”.   


  1. Wow. I REALLY love this and I am so blessed to have come to your blog through the A to Z Challenge list for 2013. I really needed to read this, it was such a great reminder. Thanks for posting her words! I will definitely come back to read more of your posts and be inspired and encouraged!


    1. Thanks for your comment, Rebecca! I pray that I will "inspire and encourage" readers so it's wonderful to hear that I through God's leading, I did!

  2. I have actually been to that cave system. We got into a spot so small we had to lay on our backs and pull ourselves through water while keeping out mouths and noses up for air. I was a teenager and got away from my parents and my mother freaked out.

    Dropping my from A to Z Challenge. This is my first year participating.

    Brett Minor
    Transformed Nonconformist

    1. YIKES, Brett--I don't know if I could do that! Thanks for stopping by and I'll be checking out your blog too.

  3. Mammoth Caves is definitely on our list of places to visit!


Thank you for commenting!