My Experience In Hezekiah’s Tunnel
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1 ESV)
There we were – laughing with excitement as we walked the ramparts of Jerusalem and into the City of David located immediately outside the walls.
My wife and I were leading a 10 day tour of the Holy Land of Israel. This happened to be our “free day,” when several of us were walking together toward our goal: Hezekiah’s Tunnel.
One of Israel’s Old Testament kings, Hezekiah had the insight and ingenuity to dig a tunnel through massive amounts of rock in order to access water within the protective walls of the city.
My group and I arrived ready for the adventure! We descended a myriad of steps and finally located our entrance into the dark cave, through which water still flows today.
I stepped in first. The water was cold and flowing rapidly. My shoulders neatly fit between the narrow walls, and I was forced to stoop a bit because of the low “ceiling,”
Carrie entered the waters, took three steps and said: “Nope. No way!” and backed herself right out of the cave. Adventure over!
It took her a few minutes, but she decided to trust me and make the journey – whatever it would bring.
Our group, which had been filled with such excitement only moments earlier, was now a bit nervous. Still, we were determined.
One by one we entered the cave. Single file line. Very narrow. Low ceiling. Water up to our thighs. Darkness like none we had ever experienced.
The water became more shallow as we walked, now only above our ankles. At points the ceiling became quite high, making us a bit less claustrophobic. The walls remained fairly tight against us on either side – comfortable to walk through, but forcing us to remain single file.
Did I mention that the tunnel zig-zagged it’s way for a distance of about 300 yards? That’s 3 football fields of dark cave-ness!
The darkness only got darker.
With my phone as my flashlight I was leading the way. Carrie was right behind me – and by right behind me, I mean she was in my back pocket trying not to freak out completely.
At one point, I stopped to take a picture. Carrie didn’t like that.
A bit later I stopped again. This time I asked everybody to turn off their flashlights and phones. Carrie was not happy, but at least now, in the dark, I couldn’t see the look she was giving me.
The darkness could almost be felt.
Isaiah lived and prophesied in a time when Israel was in great darkness. His words were piercing, but not without promise.
Isaiah declared: “Arise, shine, for your light has come.” Later he said: “The Word became flesh, and in Him was light – the light of men.”
Israel’s history, in some ways, could be described as a people walking through a dark tunnel. There was excitement at the beginning, and promise for the end, but a dark, difficult journey in between.
Perhaps you are in your own tunnel. Let me tell you from firsthand experience, it can get dark and stay dark for a long, long time.
But this is a tunnel. You will get through. There is another side. Light does await you again.
As we neared the exit of Hezekiah’s Tunnel we all cheered! The glow of light told us that we were almost there. And Carrie even smiled for the picture I took!
The Light of the world will bring you through whatever darkness you are facing today. His name is Jesus.
For my friends walking in darkness, let them see the glory of Your Son.
In Jesus’ name, amen.