Fresh Hope – 15th January 2021

You know it is perfectly possible to know exactly where you are but still be lost. I remember being on a family walk on some heathland. We had lost our way and all the paths started to look the same. After a while roaming around looking for the right way the kids were starting to complain. “We are lost” they were saying, “we are not lost, I know exactly where we are”, I was claiming, “we just need to find the right path.”

The reality is that both were true. We knew where we were, on the heath behind a National Trust house, probably only a few metres from where we were supposed to be. However, we did not know which way to go to get back. We may have known where we were but without a direction we would have stayed on that heathland all night!

It is the same in life, we can know exactly where we are but still be lost. We might be struggling with financial issues; lost in sickness; lost in grief; lost in broken relationships; lost in loneliness; lost in unemployment. We will be fully aware that this is where we are and even that this has become familiar, normal, comfortable even. Without a direction we will stay exactly where we are and have no idea how to get back to the life that God wants for us.

In John chapter 14:5 one of Jesus’ disciples says to him “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?.”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
The path back is what we need, the path to the life that God wants us to live, a life of freedom. Freedom from all those issues which hold us down, they are a weight upon us that Jesus wants to lift. Jesus says three things.

He is the way. Notice that Jesus does not say that he ‘knows’ the way but he ‘is’ the way. Focusing our eyes and thoughts on Jesus and lifting them from our own circumstances.

He is the truth. In a world of social media, fake news and deep fake video the words of Pontius Pilot at Jesus’ trial are more relevant than ever ‘what is truth?’. When there is so much noise going on around us it is hard to find the truth. Focusing our minds on the words, actions and person of Jesus shines a light on the true way of being.

He is the life. God does not want us to live in stress and anxiety. He wants us to live life to the full and Jesus came to show us how that life of freedom is possible. That does not mean that troubles will not come but that with Jesus at the centre of your life there we have a rock on which to stand. Making it possible to follow Paul’s exortation to ‘rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances’ (1 Thessalonions 5:16).

Oh, and by the way, we did find our way off the heathland, eventually!

Richard Ashmore

A daily devotion for a better way of living.