In the book The Horse and His Boy, by C.S. Lewis, the main character, Shasta, is lost in a dark forest. He can’t see anyone or anything and does not know how to find his way. He is scared, and most of all, he is totally exhausted. His problem is not just that he is discouraged, but he is also full of self-pity, totally rejected. Seated on his horse, Shasta wanders in the pitch-dark along terrible, narrow mountain trails. Shasta doesn’t know what to do. He is separated and alone and doesn’t know where to go. Suddenly, in the midst of this awful loneliness and despair, he is startled by a new awareness.
Shasta discovered that someone or somebody was walking beside him. It was pitch dark and he could see nothing. And a Thing (or person) was going so quietly that he could hardly hear any footfalls. What he could hear was breathing. His invisible companion seemed to breathe on a very large scale, and Shasta got the impression that it was a very large creature. And he had come to notice his breathing so gradually that he really had no idea how long it had been there. It was a horrible shock.
When Shasta begins to hear the warm breath, he cautiously asks, “Who are you?” To which the creature, who is the great lion Aslan, answers, “One who has waited long for you to speak . . . Tell me your sorrows.” As a result, Shasta is no longer scared, but comforted.
Shasta was no longer afraid that the Voice belonged to something that would eat him, nor that it was the voice of a ghost. But a new and different sort of trembling came over him. Yet he felt glad too.
Just like Shasta, we too often get lost in the dark. No matter what we do, we simply can’t seem to find the Lord or hear Him. What should we do in those times? I believe one of the significant things we can do is to remember that whether we see Him or not, hear Him or not, He is still with us. We must learn to quiet ourselves and wait, asking the Holy Spirit to open our inner eyes to see Him and to hear Him.