There he stands. His clothes are dirty, like he had been fumbling around on his hands and knees in the mud for his lost phone. He feels a bit uncomfortable and is unsure why, but he thinks, “Oh well, that’s just the way life is.”

He stands in the middle of a dark wilderness, the moon shining only dimly.

He is happy, it seems, as happy as anyone else he knows and certainly happier than others. But there is a lingering annoyance. Although he has visited interesting places, fathered children, had fun, and laughed loudly, all seems empty when day is done, and he lays down on his bed.

In this dark wilderness, he has no idea in the world where true north is. Or east. He has no compass. His only direction finder is himself and what he understands. This is disastrous. For example, if you were adrift in the Pacific Ocean and did not use the sun, moon, or stars to plot your course using only your own mind, you would die. Thus, every direction the man heads toward seems unsatisfactory. He is convinced the answer lies out there somewhere, and he will figure it out someday. He has heard lots of ideas, most of which don’t make sense to him or resound in his heart and mind. He has settled for what many do. Lots of encouragements to keep on keepin’ on, seize the day, and treat others the way you would want to be treated, regardless of race or gender. As far as what follows death, he just believes that everybody goes to some vague, undefined “better place.” Maybe heaven. Maybe some unknown place.

Or maybe his body will just turn to dust.

He drinks to escape the realities he faces. That doesn’t seem to help, either. Sometimes, it makes things worse.

He finds no satisfaction in any religion he investigates, albeit studies none of them deeply. He just shrugs it off. He would find the truths of life somehow, someway.

Then, as he is wandering around in the unsatisfying, directionless wilderness, he believes in Jesus.

He is delighted beyond his ability to express it. He feels—new. He is amazingly happy that God exists and is real, not just some religious idea.

At the very moment of belief, he now wears a glowing, white robe of righteousness. He is a holy one. A saint. He is a saint not because the Catholic church says he is. He is a saint because the Bible says he is. No halo. No holy poses. Just the truth of having all the junk and sin of his former life washed away. His Father looks at him and sees only a righteous man.

He realizes that he was a horrible sinner, although he never thought of himself that way. He was just a regular guy, a pretty good guy—actually a little better than most of his friends. However, now he knows how atrocious his sin is and when he thinks about it, he is ashamed. But he knows, despite the reality of his monumentally sinful life, all of that, all of it, is gone. He knows he is not a saint but is amazed that God says he is.

He has become a being who has eternal life, not eternal death. He will live forever with a loving God in an amazing, heavenly place—a kingdom, actually.

He has become one of the sons of God Himself, the Creator of everything in the universe. That thought astounds him. By virtue of his sonship, he is an inheritor of the Almighty God’s eternal kingdom. It is not a democracy with a leader elected by the people. It is a kingdom with an eternal King, and “of His government there will be no end.” No change of administration. This King will never die to be replaced by another.

He is now a king and a priest in that kingdom, although he knows nothing about being a priest nor a king. In his inherited position, one day, he will be part of judging the world and angels. This thought baffles him. He knows he not worthy to do such things. But following that thought, he realizes no Christian is worthy of anything the Lord gives them, including—well, anything and everything.

He soon tells others of his amazing transformation. Most just shake their heads and tell him, “That’s nice for you. I’m glad you found something that works for you.”

Some believe, although their salvation comes years later. He never witnesses it. He can’t believe everyone doesn’t immediately receive his glad news, but then he remembers the dark wilderness in which he lived for years.

He feels called to be an intercessor, to pray for those who linger in the blackness as he did.

May we pray that the Lord of grace and mercy will forgive and save our friends, those living with no direction in the darkness of a wilderness.

Gif courtesy Bing images.