While on your journey through life, have you ever felt that the snow was falling heavier now, making the trail more difficult to follow? Everything is turning white and your progress becomes slow. Traveling for days in these conditions may cause your hopes to fade. The cold and exhaustion begins to take its toll on your body and mind.
You may begin to lag farther and farther behind on the trail. Maybe you feel as though you cannot take another step. A voice inside you says, “You must keep going” but you can hear nothing. The snow swirls around your head and your stomach continues to ache. You start to shake uncontrollably and your vision is blurred.
But then, you sense something come very close to you. A presence with a low, deep voice that says to you, “Come”. With every ounce of strength left in your body you take the first step. You know that your survival depends on it. Stumbling at first and then finding your footing you continue to follow the voice.
Ari, the small lion and his two companions, the little bird, Shirarina and Gamzo, the fox found themselves in a bleak winter experience while on their journey to find Ari’s homeland. The snow storm had suddenly come upon them.
When Ari was at the brink of collapse the voice of Dov, the brown bear, rang into his ears. The old bear beckoned Ari to follow him, and with Gamzo still clutching his tail and Shirarina snuggled deep inside his mane he managed to move in the direction where the bear was leading him.
Dov led them to a small opening and they found themselves out of the falling snow and inside a cave. The bear turned his back to them and scratched around in one of the corners of the cave.
“Lay down,” he ordered.
The old bear had fluffed up a bedding of dry leaves and pine needles to warm them. Ari and Gamzo collapsed into an unconscious sleep. While the snow continued to fall for many days, Dov would bring the small party of animals food and his deep blue eyes seemed to calm the travelers.
Sleep, rest, and, nourishment in the peaceful presence of Dov caused Ari, Shirarina, and, Gamzo to regain their strength and be restored while time stood still for them. Before long the snow disappeared and sunlight danced upon the leaves of the trees. New life sprouted everywhere the eye could see. The wildflowers were turning their faces skyward to drink in the warm glow of the sun.
And, then it happened that Dov spoke again.
“It is time now. Come.”
The old bear slowly rose up on all fours and walked out of the cave and the others followed. Spring had arrived! Shirarina immediately spread her tiny wings and took flight. The sun on her feathers filled her with energy. Gamzo and Ari ran around each other in circles feeling the strength that had returned to their bodies.
By this time, Dov had walked far ahead of them and as they caught up to him, they were led to a rise over looking a valley. The old bear told them to go and then turned and smiled one last time as he started walking back in the direction of the cave. The small lion and his companions were speechless. They didn’t want to see their dear friend depart.
Ari broke the silence.
“We must go. It is what Dov wanted. He has shown us the way.”
When storms suddenly come into our lives it makes the trail on our journey harder to navigate. We lose strength, our vision is blurred, and we may at times let go of any hope that the storm will pass.
It is only when we listen to the voice that reminds us to enter into the presence of peace that we find rest for our souls while the storm is still raging outside.
Inside our cave, our secret place where the presence of peace abides, we will be infused with sustaining power and with hope that the warm glowing sunshine of Spring will always arrive at the perfect time. Then, we will spread our wings as Shirarina did, and take flight.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is stayed on you.” ~ Isaiah 26:3
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.” ~ Psalm 62:5
“…my Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” ~ Exodus 33:14
“Rest and be thankful.” ~ William Wordsworth