“But somehow he was comforted. It was rather splendid to be wearing a blade made in Gondolin for the goblin-wars of which so many songs had sung; and also he had noticed that such weapons made a great impression on goblins that came upon them suddenly.
“ ‘Go back?’ he thought. ‘No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do!’ So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” ~ The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo Baggins found himself in a very difficult position. Miles away from his beloved Shire, in the caves of the Misty Mountains, the small hobbit (who has been separated from his companions) is alone in the dark. Bilbo is on an adventure he did not volunteer to go on and is being hunted by Goblins (Orcs).
Finding himself is this terrible situation Bilbo begins to think about his options. Only then does he remember the elvish blade hanging from his belt. The presence of the sword gives Bilbo the courage he needs to face the uncertainty of the dark. With his new found courage Bilbo is able to move forward.
On more days than we care to admit we wake up feeling the exact same way Bilbo felt during his adventure. It feels like we are alone in the dark, unsure of what will happen, and terrified to move. The questions: “What do I do?” “Where should I go?” and “Who can I count on?” are attempts to find a solution to the situation we find ourselves in. These are times when Bilbo becomes a good example to follow.
Bilbo found courage by drawing the sword he would later name Sting. It was a special blade, which struck terror into the hearts of his enemy. Even though Bilbo wasn’t skilled in sword fighting the blade’s presence comforted him.
The author of the book of Hebrews wrote:
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12; NASB).
God’s word strikes fear into the heart of Satan. It reveals his lies and provides us with hope. The more the Bible is a part of our lives the more courage we will have in facing the uncertainty of life. The Bible is an essential component in the adventure we find ourselves a part of. Without God’s word it is impossible to face the darkness that is around us.
With Sting in hand Bilbo had to make a decision. He had to decide on which direction he needed to go. He couldn’t go back the way he came, for that is where the goblins were. He couldn’t go sideways because of the cave walls. The only direction he could go was forward, and forward he went.
The apostle Paul talked about the importance of moving forward when he wrote:
No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven (Philippians 3:13-14; NLT).
Many times in life we find ourselves in the same predicament. We are unable to go back. Time has a way of continuing to push forward and changing everything in its path. No matter how much we may have enjoyed our lives in the past, no matter how much as we would like to go back and change our mistakes, all we can do is move forward. It is the only direction available to us. If we try to hold on to the past, or even the present, we will miss the life God has created for us. By choosing to move forward with God we are able to discover the life we were created to live.
If you happen to wake up one day and find yourself in a dark place, with no hope and no friends, do not get discouraged. Bring out the Bible and discover what God has to say and commit yourself to going wherever He might lead. After all that is what Bilbo would do.
Questions to consider:
- When was the last time you woke up uncertain what you should do?
- How does the Bible provide you with confidence?
- Why is it important to move forward in faith in times of uncertainty?