"Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless. For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God." (Hebrews 7:18, 19 NLT)
We are travelers longing to be near God. He is enthroned on His holy mountain, and we are journeying to Him. Our sojourn has brought us to an intersection where four roads split off, all going in the general direction of God. Three roads are wide and paved; the other is a narrow dirt road.
We set off down one wide road toward God's mountain. We move along easily and without hindrance until we come to a rocky outcropping that drops off abruptly into a deep, dark gorge. God is on the other side, on the summit of His mountain. We can reach Him if only we can cross the expanse in front of us. Stretched across the canyon is a bridge. We hope it will get us to God. But it is a tricky bridge. It is made of many, many slats of wood of varying degrees of soundness. We must walk on each slat, skipping none, and if we take one wrong step, we will plunge into the depths. "There must be something better," we think, and retrace our steps along the first road, back to the intersection.
We set off down the second wide road. Eventually we come out in a slightly different spot but at the same gorge. Another bridge is stretched out before us. We hope it will get us to God. But it is only an old rope bridge, rotting and swaying. We know it will not be strong enough to hold us. "There must be something better," we think, and retrace our steps along the second road, back to the intersection.
We set off down the third wide road. Again we come to the canyon, just at a slightly different spot. Again, there is a bridge we hope will get us to God. This bridge is wide and solidly built. But it does not go all the way across to God's mountain. It ends too far from the opposite side for us to jump. This bridge that is not really a bridge at all is of no use to us. "There must be something better," we think, and retrace our steps along the third road, back to the intersection.
This time, we set off on the narrow dirt road. It winds along and comes out at the same gorge. But in this spot, there is no bridge at all. We wonder what to do...how to cross that dark chasm that separates us from God. We cannot help ourselves. We need a Way across.
We are ready to give up hope that we will ever be near God when Jesus comes along the narrow path to the edge of the rocky outcropping where we are. "I can get you across," He says. He lays down and stretches out and closes the gap between where we are and where God is. "Go ahead," He says. "You can trust me. If you start to fall, I can save you. I will save you."
We walk across this Bridge. He is solid and secure. We trust Him completely, because we know He wants us to get to the Father, to His Father. When we look down and see the darkness below and start to stumble, He keeps us from falling.
We make it across. We climb the rest of the way up God's mountain. We draw near to Him.
It is better than we ever hoped for.
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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!