A coal miner was trapped by an accident deep in the heart of the earth, and after the initial shock of realizing what had happened, the man took inventory to see how badly he was hurt. His carbon lantern, the only light that he had, was buried under the debris which had covered him. But his hands were free. One leg was pinned by a large timber. After the initial shock, he knew that he was pretty badly bruised and frightened. Who wouldn’t be scared?
The long minutes dragged by and turned into hours. Then after what seemed like an eternity, he heard the distant sounds of picks and shovels as rescuers frantically sought to free him. As rescues got closer, the miner called out, “Look, I’m not in very bad shape. Get the other men first; then dig me out.”
“OK,” called the rescuers, “but we’ll shove a flashlight through the hole and give you something to drink.” As the miner took the light and put its beam on his mangled, bloodied leg caught by the timbers and rocks, he cried out, “Get me out of here now! I’m in terrible shape.”
I’ve wondered if that same response doesn’t apply to the person who comes face to face with his or her true spiritual condition and doesn’t like what is seen. For example, consider what Jesus said: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men 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 his deeds will be exposed” (John 3:19-20).
Soft lights make things more attractive, certainly more romantic, but not for seeing things as they really are. Shadows may be great for photography, but not for surgery, which demands that a doctor see very clearly what he is doing.
The Bible tells us exactly what our problems are, how badly we have been mangled by the debris of our fallen natures, and how much we need help. It calls our problem sin—a word that we often avoid today. But it doesn’t stop there. It gives us a solution which promises help and hope. But then, if we refuse help, we are worse off than we were before we knew our true condition.
A doctor who told you how bad your condition is without offering hope or treatment would be indeed cruel. But with an accurate diagnosis, there comes hope for treatment. His honesty is not only justified; it is the only solution to your problem.
The Good News is that there is help, forgiveness, and hope that life can be different. David cried out, “If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared” (Psalm 130:3-4).
In a very real sense, the Bible is like a high intensity lamp which allows you to see yourself as you really are—not as you think you are. Naturally, it’s upsetting unless you do something about it.
Question: How are you, really? I mean, what’s your condition in light of eternity? In need of real forgiveness? If you stood before a God who knows everything, would you wish you had a few things covered which you don’t like? Remember what David said, “There is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.” Don’t forget the miner who saw himself as he really was, for someday you will be in that very situation.
Resource Reading: Psalm 130
Text: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – May 18, 2017