Issue #178

Sometimes we find ourselves ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’! This is where we come to the ‘end of the road,’ so to speak, with no chance of turning around and heading in a new direction. Life is like this sometimes. And when these events come, we feel as though we are trapped with no place to go. Sometimes we become distraught as there is nothing we physically can do to escape the predicament we find ourselves in.

It was like this for me, when, one day I found myself stuck in a dark cave. I was out with some friends exploring a series of caves near Canowindra in the Central West NSW. I had managed to go down a narrow section of cave to explore a cavern that was reportedly down one of these passages. I was on my own as my companions slipped down another passage. All of a sudden it was quiet and I felt quite alone. Then for some crazy reason my headlamp stopped working. I was in the dark. I could not see a thing. I knew the deep cavern was nearby so it was dangerous to move forward. But I could not turn around either … I was stuck! All I could do was to cry out for help … but it was very quiet! Could anyone hear my call for help?

This is where we find ourselves today in our journey through Romans. We have learned that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We have heard that God is angry with us and that we are subjects of His wrath. There is no escape for us because He is righteous and we are unrighteous. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place! What can we do? I guess all we can do is to cry out for mercy! And this is where Romans becomes incredibly exciting. Paul tells us something that is absolutely staggering! He tells us that it is God who turns our unrighteousness into His righteousness! Yes, the Law must be upheld. Punishment must be forthcoming otherwise He is seen as an easy God who does not really care about standards and righteousness itself. Paul tells us the great news of the gospel and what it really means. It is God who does it all, and we are the recipients of this most glorious gift by accepting the gift of Jesus with empty hands through faith.

And yes, I was rescued that day in the cave. My friend came looking for me. He heard my cry! His light broke the darkness and I was guided back to safety. Jesus has come looking for you too. His light breaks the darkness of sin and by this brings you into the presence of His Father. All you need to do is to open your heart to Him through faith; take His hand and follow Him!