The path beneath our feet, dotted with twigs and pebbles, created the only sounds as my sister and I wound our way through the towering evergreens and lush carpet that made up the towering Island forest.
The day had started with a decision to check off number 4 on our bucket list.
So here we were.
The trail wove majestically through the forest, now bringing us alongside a mighty deafening continuous waterfall.
Refreshing cool droplets of mist enveloped us both as the trail beckoned us closer and closer to the enchantingly lush green moss on the banks of the rushing body of water.
It was exhilarating and exciting all at once.
A long while into our bucket list, we realized the birds had quieted. Not a creature was to be seen as far as our eyes could see through the towering, moss-covered trunks. A sense of eerie came upon both of us as we stopped in the middle of the trail now looking back to a very empty path mirrored by the same as we turned to face the neverending, ongoing path it seemed in front of us.
We kept walking. Endlessly it seemed. To “where” we did not know. Signs seem to be non-existent.
Turning back seemed an option for a lonely moment, but the setting sun peeking through the towering island evergreens changed our minds.
The dark, strange and unfamiliar towering forest with so many unknowns, turned the anticipation of number 4 on the bucket list to a sudden grip on my heart at least.
The view around us all seemed the same by now and the same beautiful view we welcomed just hours into our adventure became something we wanted to leave behind in this moment.
But which way to turn?
Back? Familiar but into a setting sun, leaving us in a towering dark forest?
The thundering roar of the rushing river dotting our trek on one side and darkening thick forest of the unknown on the other… Continuing on the trail?… To where?
And then just as all these thoughts had wormed through our minds, out of nowhere appeared at tall seasoned jogger it seemed.
Hadn’t we just longingly looked down the long dark ending path we had just come?… How was this possible?
But here he was.
A midst slowing his jog, I sensed he saw our questions written all over our faces.
“just keep going… this trail ends, just around the corner.”
And then just as suddenly as he had appeared… he was gone, leaving us both with a newfound sense of direction and relief.
Our chatter between us heightened as our faces lightened with the prospect of seeing an end to this darkening trail we were not so sure of any more.
And then just as the mysterious jogger had said… Just a few minutes down the path the looming Evergreens that had started to threaten our peaceful hike, seem to part ways as the vast evening sky became dominant in our sights.
Our trek in the darkening island forest had been met with an open sky, painted with the majestic brushes of the evening hues of the setting sun.
Bucket list number 4 had a check mark behind it, but not before some heart pounding moments.
How often doesn’t life take us down a trail that beckons us to enjoy the beauty of the cool mist of a rushing river, majestic towering forests, beautiful views, only to have us in the middle of a trail it seems, with the singing birds quiet and the darkness looming, our hearts gripped with… “which way now” and “what do I do??”.
Our feet seemingly frozen on the trail.
We may feel like the looming darkness and uncertainty will never end in that moment.
But be very assured… Our God sees it all.
“I will never leave you or forsake you” is a promise you can count on no matter how lost you may feel in the middle of your darkest trail, not knowing which way to turn.
So in the midst of a darkening season of your life with the darkening trail ahead and behind you seeming to never end… And the birds seem to stop their singing in this season…
know that every darkened trail in our lives has an end.
And just when you think the sun will go down, and leave your trail forever in the dark…
There is hope in knowing that the sky will look brighter, and the looming forest will part as you turn your ear to Him, and listen for His still small voice encouraging you to keep moving…
“Just keep going… This trail ends…
Just around the corner.