Monday, April 30, 2012

Stick Close to the Guideline

     Many years ago, my husband became a certified underwater cave diver here in Florida.  He was an excellent scuba diver to begin with and really enjoyed underwater adventure.  He took a two year course with expert cave divers to learn this very specialized skill.
     Personally, I never considered this hobby that dangerous because when a person is properly trained and equipped, it can be a very satisfying experience.  Those that are killed in underwater caves are usually inexperienced and untrained divers who do not know what to do if something goes wrong.
     On one occasion, my husband was diving with a friend in a cave system.  The divers always use a buddy system and carry a line into the cave so they can find their way out.  They are also very careful not to stir up too much silt at the bottom of the cave so that they can see.  If the silt is stirred up, its like being in a blinding blizzard.  Likewise, they carry back-up lights as well.
You can see the guideline under the diver
     During the dive, my husband somehow got separated from his buddy and in the course of turning around, he bumped his head on a rock which protruded from the cave ceiling.  This served to knock his mask off, and he had to get reoriented.  However, when he got his mask cleared of water, he discovered that he had inadvertently stirred up a lot of silt.
     At that moment, he said he started wondering if he would ever make it out.  He had lost his buddy, his visibility was next to nothing and his head was throbbing.  He said his life flashed before his eyes.  He began to pray and ask the Lord for deliverance.  He knew there was only one way out of the cave system and he had to carefully follow the guideline in order to get out.
     By not losing his head in this difficult situation, sticking to the rules of safe cave diving and hanging on to the guideline, he was able to find his way out.  He said he was so relieved when he came out of the water.  He just praised the Lord the whole time.  Of course, I was blissfully unaware of the close call.  However, as I thought about this time, I was reminded of an important scripture our Lord gave to us.
     In Matthew 7:13-14, we read:  "Jesus said, 'Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction...But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.'"
     Following Jesus is like hanging on to that guideline in an underwater cave system.  As long as we cling to that guideline and follow carefully those things which we know bring glory to God, there is a reward and safety for us.  However, when we choose to walk our own way, we open up a world of danger.
     Our world system looks so attractive to so many.  When they look at the Christian life, many decide that it's too narrow or tough.  Even Christians at times feel that way.  But look at the outcome!  Just as inexperienced and untrained scuba divers can end up drowning when they enter a cave system, those without Jesus will not have eternal life in heaven but will spend it in Hell.
     The Lord clearly told us that there is only a narrow way, but He makes it possible for those whom He calls to come.  He said:  "I am the way, the Truth, and the Life.  no one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).
     My husband lived to tell about his adventure underwater and praise the Lord because he followed the narrow way....the rules laid down to protect his life.  As Christians, we need to stay the course on the narrow way and not get sidetracked in the broad way of the world.  It may appear to be more glamorous but it only leads to death.  Selah!

P.S.  My husband has been retired from diving for some time now, but we often talk about this story and remember to thank God!

I welcome your thoughts and comments.  How has God kept you on the narrow way?  What helps you stay close to His guideline?

The picture "Jesus is the Way" is courtesy of:


Christina said...

Amen! Not just a riveting story but also a right message! This is the message we are, by God's grace, trying to convey to the young women -- a life of obedience to Christ is the only way. Everything else is sinking sand.

Barbara Thayer said...

Amen my dear friend! Yes, true stories are the best ones and I am so delighted that you are ministering to young women through your Bible study. It is soooo encouraging to read how God is using you and working through you. May we all press forward until we attain the goal of His high calling in Christ!