a sliver of hope

After reading the following verses I was reminded that finding the path that leads to Christ and staying on the path that leads to Christ requires our full attention. The way is narrow, the way is sometimes difficult, the way isn’t always the obvious (right in front of us) choice. Sometimes it’s the scary choice and the choice that requires a little more endurance and perseverance.

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. (Matthew 7: 13-14 NLT)

These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence. (1 Corinthians 10: 11-12 MSG)

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

Several years ago, I remember coming across that last verse about God always providing a way out. I was sitting on my back porch one morning talking things over with the Lord about a temptation in my life that seemed never-ending. I felt trapped and imprisoned. I read that verse and it hit me. My current situation was not unique. And God’s Word was promising me that whatever temptation I was going through that He is faithful to provide a way out. His Word was promising me that things were not hopeless, there is always a way out. There is always an exit. It also hit me that day that I was often justifying and making excuses for my poor choices. But God assured me that morning that if I just stick with Him, if I would just cling to Him and not make excuses for my behavior, he would show me the way out.

I remember drawing a picture in my journal that morning attempting to illustrate how I felt on the inside. I sketched a picture of a big house and I was in the house. There were doors I could go through but every time I chose one, I was still trapped in another section of the house. There were no windows. I felt like I was suffocating. Finally, after searching, I caught a glimpse of this tiny little hole in the wall in the corner of one of the rooms. There was a sliver of light coming in from that hole and suddenly my heart was filled with hope. It was my way out! It wasn’t going to be easy but I was certain that this was the way that would lead to freedom. I finally had peace about the direction I was headed.

The Exit

often the exit isn’t right in front of us
sometimes there are obstacles we must
maneuver around before we discover it
sometimes the way out is so small that
it goes unnoticed

if we are not paying attention
if we are not searching for it
our eyes might easily overlook
the ray of light
shining on the prison floor

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