Have you ever gone exploring in a caves? Spelunking is the fancy term. I’ve only been in touristy caves - led by a guide - but it was well worth the time - fascinating stuff.
Now suppose you were in one of these caves and whatever source of light you were using failed and failed completely. If you’ve been in that situation then you know the meaning of total darkness. And suppose you were in this total darkness, not sure of which way to turn, fearful because you can’t remember exactly where that deep hole was, not sure of which way leads to the way out. And then from somewhere far down the tunnel, someone turns on a flashlight.
A normal reaction would be what?
To turn towards the light of course.
Something similar happens in real life. Unknowingly we are wondering, lost in a dark cave. The Bible describes it as, “We are strangers here on earth.” Empirical evidence shows quite clearly that we humans really don’t have a clue what we’re doing. When dilemmas arise, an educated guess is the best we can do. Even the most intelligent among us make choices that, at least in hindsight, can be seen as clearly destructive to ourselves and those we love. We are foreigners in a strange land. We are lost - in the dark. Jesus describes us as “Like sheep without a Shepherd.”
A man who was perhaps Jesus’ closest friend wrote, “Jesus was the light. The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not understood it. Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.”
John 1:5; 3:19,20
Isn’t that amazing? We’re lost, lonely, fearful, hungry and when rescue appears in the distance, we turn away from the light and walk deeper into the tunnel of darkness.
I know the feeling intimately. I’ve been a Christian for thirty years now but I can still recall how uncomfortable I was in the company of Christians or in Church in my pre Christian days. When a Pastor would speak about virtually any sin (and I’ve been guilty of every category of sin that exists) it felt like he was talking directly to me. I didn’t like it and I avoided these encounters where ever possible. The light was presented and I turned back toward the darkness.
You’ve been lost in the cave for seven days. No food. The water is almost gone. And then a light - far in the distance - and a voice, “Hello! Is anyone down there? I’m here to rescue you!”
And you respond, “Rescue me? Do you know how that makes me feel when you say I need rescuing? Why, you must think you’re better than me. What kind of a self-righteous bigot would make me feel like I need rescuing?”
“You’ve been lost for a week. I’m here to show you the way out.”
“There you go again with your holier than thou attitude. What makes you think I even want your help? Go away. I’m sick of all the guilt you try to lay on me.”
As one atheist says on his blog, “So long and thanks for all the guilt.”
What a difference conversion makes! When Jesus opens our eyes to the truth of our situation, the delusion that we are simply on a leisurely hike gives way to the realisation that we are indeed lost and in dire straights.
When that happens, when we see the truth of the situation, in response to a light being shone into a cave where we’ve been lost, when the rescuer shouts, “Is anyone down there?” those who admit they are lost shout back, “Yes! Over here! Help me! Save me! Rescue me!”
Jesus said, “I have come not to those who think they are righteous but to those who know they are sinners.”
Today, when a Pastor talks about some type of sin, instead of turning away I shout out in my mind, “Yes that’s me! Jesus saved me. Jesus loved me. Jesus died for me because I was lost in sin and He brought me safely home. I once was blind but now I see. I once was lost but now I’m found.”
About thirty years ago I turned toward the light. It was the best decision I ever made. Since then, I can honestly say that every year has been better than the year better. Not becauase there has been less suffering and pain. In fact there has probably been more. No, it's been better because the supernatural presence of Jesus has been there with me in the tragedy and loss. In this life you're going to suffer. You can either suffer with your Lord and Saviour - who brings peace and assurance and strength and comfort - or you can suffer without Him.
You are lost. There's no doubt about that. We begin life - lost.
The question is, are you willing to be rescued?
Your Creator is your only source of hope. Power, or position or wealth or education or relationships or science or health; none of these things will lead you safely home.
Go toward the light for the light is the embodiment of Love - the greatest
Love in the universe.
Good luck on your journey.