Walking In Mystery

Walking In Mystery

“To go on, you have to be willing to walk in days of mystery.”

That was the takeaway from a vivid dream I had years ago. On the screen of my mind, while fast asleep, I was hiking up a mountain trail with a familiar group of people. The well-marked path seemed easy enough to follow. No chance of getting lost. We trudged up the steepest parts single-file through thick woods, until at last we reached a beautiful alpine meadow. Wildflowers speckled the hillside with color. We stopped in the warm sunshine to remove windbreakers and jackets. Some took long drinks of water.

After catching our breath, a few of us realized the trail was not clearly defined in the meadow. We wandered in different directions, searching for any hint of it. I remember laying a deflated inner tube on top of some brush as a marker—in case we lost our way. We combed the terrain for hours.

Another bunch of hikers came up the same path. They couldn’t find the trail either and huddled to discuss. Abruptly, they turned-tail to leave.

“Don’t you want to see what’s ahead?” a man from our group hollered to them.

But they continued to drop out of sight, and the last man waved his arm down sharply, as if to say, “No way!”

We kept hunting. Eventually, I came upon the inner tube and realized I’d been going in circles. Sighing, I shrugged my shoulders. Then stepping closer, I noticed the tube was now filled with air. I slung it over my arm, curious about the change.

Suddenly, a woman from our party yelled, “Hey! You gotta see this!” Everyone streamed toward her from all directions. To our amazement she’d found a newly built boardwalk. It had thick floorboards and smelled like fresh cut cedar. Clearly, this was the way to go.

We followed the boardwalk, higher and higher up the mountain until we reached the tree line around twilight. At the edge of the forest, we came upon a giant lodge. Through the windows, I saw a fire cackling in a large stone fireplace. We heard laughter and singing, and the wonderful smell of roast turkey floated in the air. We had reached our journey’s end.

Was the dream from God? For me, it had His signature all over it. Here’s a possible interpretation to consider:

Faith is a journey. In the beginning, we may have a clearly defined path. It may feel uphill at times, but there’s comfort in walking the trail with others.

Faith also reaches a stage in maturity where the way is not mapped out for us. At that point, we need the Holy Spirit more than ever. The inner tube could represent a life-saving ring, providing buoyancy in deeper waters where our feet can’t touch. The change, or the inflation of the tube, could symbolize the infilling of the Spirit.

Some will reach this point of transition and refuse to go on without a visible, tangible path. They will play it safe, but miss greater things. Others are willing to walk in mystery, persevering until the way transpires.

The boardwalk was so unexpected. It seemed to materialize from thin air. Yet, to see with spiritual eyes is to know that what is unseen is greater and more “solid” than what is seen. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1). There is a transformation in faith when this happens. It’s not a question of salvation either way. Rather a deepening experience in the things of God.

In the morning, I opened my eyes and remained in bed to ponder the dream. I said, “God, what is the message of that dream? What are you trying to show me?”

He said, “To go on, you have to be willing to walk in days of mystery.”  The phrase shot into my mind with precise clarity, interrupting my thoughts. That’s one way to recognize the voice of God. It also made sense to me the more I thought about it.

Later, God reiterated the dream in two ways. First I stumbled on a T.S. Eliot quote:

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

At that point in my life, I was on the threshold of learning more about the Holy Spirit, but I’d reached some kind of spiritual plateau. I didn’t know how to go on. I felt stinted and stifled. Bible studies seemed awash in platitudes. Church services triggered intense restlessness. I traveled in circles, getting nowhere, just like the dream. But in truth something was changing in me. My discontent was really hunger—there had to be more!

The second confirmation happened when I came across this verse:

“I will make all My mountains a road, 
and My highways will be raised up.”

–Isaiah 49:11

Whoever heard of a highway on top of a mountain in biblical days? Yet, the boardwalk was just that. I had to look, wait, believe, and not settle. There is Something More, as Catherine Marshall wrote. There is Something Beyond as C.S. Lewis claimed. But there is also an in-between season that requires faith. Are you willing to walk in days of mystery? Tell me your experience.


  1. For many years I kept dreaming that as an actor about to go on stage, I needed to check a page in the script. I could never FIND one. Sometimes I had enough time to look all over the place, and ask people if they had theirs handy or knew where one was. Never! Then either I’d go on and muddle through or I’d wake up feeling very uncomfortable. Then one time in 1987 I found the script! The dream stopped coming after that . . . until about 3 years ago. As I sit thinking now, I wonder if it has to do with frustration nipping at my heels. My enemy would surely play that up. And perhaps the script is the Holy Spirit who speaks my lines for me just as I need them. Jesus says we’ll know what to say when we need to. Corrie Ten Boom (sp.?) speaks of not needing the token until you actually get on the bus. Maybe my script dreams have to do with fretting, maybe God wants me to trust him more. Maybe God IS the script in times of fear/doubt/worry and He is already invisibly present so I don’t need the physical script in my hand, just find it in my heart?
    See how you got me to start thinking? Thank you, darling.
    Suzee B

    • Suzee, yes you are on the right track here. I think your interpretation is spot on. Fretting and frustration are nipping at your heels, but God is ever present. Ask Him what you need for the next step, the imminent decision, or the thing you’re supposed to say–whatever is at hand. Stop and inquire of the Lord like David did in those “don’t-have-the-script” moments. Maybe a phrase, or a picture, or a Scripture will pop into your mind. Hearing God takes a little practice. A posture of waiting and listening is very attractive to the Holy Spirit. Think of the parable of the Sower and the Seed. If Jesus explained that the seed was the word of God–what if that also means the fresh words of God. What is our soil/soul condition? Rocky ground? Weed infested with the cares of the world? Or the good soil? Blessed is he who has ears to hear, said Jesus.

      You are welcome, Darling! S

  2. Dear Susan,

    Once again you have shared the words that I needed. I am restless for more truth. Looking forward to your future posts.

    • Renon! Great to hear from you! I will keep posting every week and it is send out to subscribers on Sundays. Please forward the post to others you think might be interested or hungry to know more of God. Sending love, Susan

  3. A comment from Kate Forrest:
    I love your devotions…. I tend to save them like one does a special piece of chocolate. Not to be devoured right away, but to be savored at a time when no one is looking! 🙂

    My husband, former Navy SEAL loves the adrenaline that comes with jumping out of planes and going on secret spy missions. One of our first dates was jumping off a terrorizing bridge. I hate that kind of adrenaline. BUT, I love the spiritual kind!

    Your note was encouraging to me in the picture of the great lodge, fire and party! Jesus did the same thing when the Bible says, “for the joy set before Him, he endured the cross”…. His eyes were on glorifying the Father and the great banquet/party ahead! In times of darkness, that is where I want my focus to be.

    By the way, the SEALS had a saying regarding their missions, “never question in the dark, what you know to be true in the daylight”… same could be said for our walk with Jesus!!

    Hopefully you’ll get a chance to look for some boardwalks in the mountains this coming weekend!!!

    Thanks again!