When heading out of Cape Town toward the Du Toitskloof mountains, you go through a tunnel that was cut out of a mountain. This tunnel makes any journey in that direction quicker and safer than the old road that winds up and through the mountains. We took the road with the tunnel mostly when going on vacation.

For as long as I can remember, my siblings and I have played a game where whoever first saw the end of the tunnel would yell out “I see the light!” as fast as they could. Recently I passed that way with my mother, and as we drove through the tunnel, I reminded her of the game we used to play. Of course, she remembered and we laughed together over how seriously we took the game of being the first to “see the light.” Then I began to wonder about the origins of the game, and I couldn’t recall who had invented it. “I did!” she said. “You all seemed nervous the first time we went into the tunnel, so I told you all to look out ahead and play that game. When you focused on that, nobody was scared of the stuffy, dark ride anymore, and the tunnel became one of your favorite parts of the journey.”

I don’t think that I would have ever remembered the fear that had prompted the game’s invention. I only remember how much fun we had in the tunnel, waiting for the light. When Mom told me how it came about, I couldn’t help but notice the strength of the analogy.

When you’re in your darkest, most suffocating and uncomfortable place, it almost seems foolish or trite to say something like “There’s always a light at the end of every tunnel.” But it’s true. You can abandon yourself to the fear and worry that comes from focusing only on the “now” of a tough situation and miss the “and then” part. But that seems foolish when you know for sure that there is light coming and we have promises to hold on to—we will wait for our God, and He will save us!1

I believe that focusing on the light empowers me to rebrand the times of anxious distress to times of hopeful holding on. Knowing the dark tunnel serves a purpose, I eagerly wait to see the wonderful light at the end.

  1. See Isaiah 25:9.