And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.
And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.
And I saw numberless concourses of people, many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which I stood.
And it came to pass that they did come forth, and commence in the path which led to the tree.
And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost.
And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.
And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness, insomuch that they did lose their way and were lost.
Storms in nature can be frightening due to the immediate threats of lightning, flooding, and windswept debris. However there is another danger in them, that of pervasive darkness. This blinding can make us lose our bearings and become hopelessly lost. Each one of us experiences these blinding mists in our spiritual lives as well.
And I do mean each of us. Dark clouds are not reserved for the faithless, they fall upon disciples as well. Even if we accept God’s laws we can still struggle with vices; temptations that constantly pull at us, even though we truly want to be good.
Even if we have the hope of Christ in us we can still be overwhelmed by depression; thrust into fear and despair, even though we only want to live in joy.
Even if we fervently believe in God’s goodness we can still wrestle with doubts; moments where we question that the unseen can really be true, even though we only want to remain faithful.
Even Mother Teresa divulged that for a period of fifty years she suffered a feeling of withdrawal from God. She believed in him fiercely, but still the clouds of doubt and depression fell about her.
And caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and did press forward through the mist of darkness, until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.
First, one should not be ashamed that the darkness which falls on all has fallen on them, too. After that, one should realize that pressing forward in the dark is progress…even when it does not feel like it. So long as we continue pushing forward, we are nearing our goal. And so when we do at last burst out of that darkness, the light of God’s presence will be far closer than we ever saw it before.