Darkness and jeering taunts jab at him like a highschool bully.
He realizes this is how things are and it’s better to accept it. Sickness, pain, and suffering play tug-o-war with temptations of riches, sex, fame and fortune. He eventually yearns to carve out a peaceful place among the cold craggy rocks, a retreat from the endless chaos around him. As he sits hoping to be entertained, Hollywood brings a violent, gruesome experience.
His sanity tested he begins feeling around for others and grasps an outstretched hand. Happy that the utter loneliness hasn’t swallowed him whole, he ventures to socialize. The fellow traveler sits in a deeper sinkhole then he, called drugs and alcohol. It pulls his light body under the slimy surface. Gasping and choking for air he reaches up; something pulls him free. He stumbles then flees in terrified fear, because it almost took his life. He wanders in the darkest night of his soul.
This is “The Valley”, its deep gorges fraught with human suffering. Religions travel the pathways offering temporary comfort but no way out of the valley and the conditions that hold him there. The best ones offer beautiful collars and leashes that try to bind him tightly to them. But what is the truth? Where is the truth? He’s heard about God. Rumors whispered in the darkness tell of a day when truth walked the Earth, shining a light among men.
Suddenly he sees a flicker of light above. The clouds part, light trickles onto his path. He sees his foot is almost caught in the outstretched claws of pornography he quickly pulls it back. Where was that light from? Voices become louder as he desperately climbs over the boulders and up the side of the steep path. The light grows brighter. Then he stands on the edge of a bright new dawn. He looks and sees other faces clearly. They notice him and smile. He, for the first time, looks down and sees dirty rags barely covering his sooty frail body. A friendly man smiles and brings over a sword. At first he flinches, having seen the damage and captivity it brought before.
“Would you like to be free of that valley, my friend?” the smiling man asks. He nods hesitantly, “yes” unsure.
“Okay,” the man says cheerfully, “Here read this, it’s the manual for this type of journey.”
He looks at the bright crisp words and reads, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9 &10.”
His mind jolts, “Is this true?” he urgently asks the man.
The man smiles and shrugs, “It has to be, God set this up for us, and it made the rest of us free,” the man points around, he sees several others nearby nodding and clapping. “The question is do you believe it?”
He nods and then smiles, “Yeah, I’ve never seen anything like this. How did you get way up here?” he asks and then looks around. It’s light and a path lies open and bright before him. The clouds and dark valley seem far behind him. His clothing shines bright and new.
“Jesus Christ led the way a long time ago and ever since then, people just find the light. Here look at this part in the manual. John 14:6; Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Peace and hope begin to waft over him. The man gently leads him to others who are free from “The Valley” below.
Suddenly he looks at the man and says, “I’m afraid to go any further, I think something may find me and pull me back in.”
“You are free brother,” the man said. “You can go anywhere you want. But there are things still holding onto you from “The Valley”. If you want to be truly free use this manual. 2 Timothy 1:7; For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. & verse 13, Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. Look at your feet, that’s fear holding you back. That isn’t from God, he doesn’t want you to be enslaved by anything.”
He looks at his feet at a slimy creature cringing from the exposure to the light. It whispers in a harsh tone, “Don’t listen to him, what if it’s a trap?”
He musters all the courage he can and takes the man’s sword, “You are offering me fear,” he replies to it, “God offers me freedom from fear. I want freedom!” And he cuts away the hooks of Fear’s grasp. Burgeoning excitement explodes through him. Suddenly he knows everything is going to be okay. He look down at the Sword of the Spirit and reads, “Isaiah 26:3; Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.”
As time goes by, he gains confidence and begins to help others avoid the sheer cliff drops and traps luring them back into the valley. Many wander in with their clothes and bodies hurt and bruised. He shows them the Sword, that is the Word of God. Some cling to it and use it, some mock him and return to the valley, some say, “I’ll be back and learn about it some other time.” He knows they will, and that there is freedom for those who choose to reach out for it. The rest of his days are filled with breathtaking moments of love, peace and joy. He knows that this is only the beginning of the rest of eternal life with his Father.