A Trail Worth Taking

(Dear friends, once again I would like to put a disclaimer in here. This document is specifically written to the understanding that the reader has a sound knowledge of God and also shares with me the belief that Jesus Christ is coming soon, if not already on the way. Once again if you don’t know my Saviour I implore you to find Him within the documents on this website.)

Dear friends, let’s take a walk down memory lane. Today I would like to paint a picture, today’s letter is going to be slightly different, I am going to ad-lib. Now I haven’t done this before but I want to portray a message and I believe this is the most efficient way, so in most of this letter we will be portraying our message by way of a allegory. Now I am going to be improvising the dialogue for heaven’s part in the allegory but I do really believe what I say rings true. These events and words would have happened, I am just improvising the dialogue for the sake of the message I want to share with you today. So let’s begin, firstly though I would like to point out that heaven doesn’t condone ‘looking back’ (‘looking back’ refers to going over our past events (painful memories) and ‘reliving’ it time and time again. Heaven prefers it if we leave these ‘painful times’ with Jesus and leave it behind us) but we are looking at this story from heaven’s angle and I pray this allegory does give you encouragement and strength to carry on.

Two baby bear cubs were playing, they were full of energy and their play was bordering on rough. One of the cubs was rather sickly and often couldn’t ‘keep up’ in the rough and tumble games they liked to play. The older of the two cubs often ‘compensated’ by dragging the younger cub along, little did that older cub realise it was a symbol of things to come. The younger cub started her life with debilitating sickness but with her sister’s help she rallied and fought through. The older cub was strong and dragged her younger sister through. Little did the two cubs realise just how significant this ‘rough and tumble’ was. As later years were to catch up with them this same scenario would be played out over again and again. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Heaven looked down at the two cubs playing, they knew these two cubs were vital to the plan of salvation, they also knew that both had a frightful path ahead of them. Better to leave them to play now as the fires of affliction training these cubs were about to burn hot. Mother and father bear had a fiery path to walk also, heaven looked down at this family and prayed they would have the strength to withstand the training grounds, so much was at stake.

Heaven withdrew to contemplate their plans, see Jesus was lining up His ‘posse’, He was looking down the ages, looking for ‘helpers’, lining up a team of people who would help Him win the war against the devil. God the Father and God the Son quietly withdrew from the councils in heaven and went to planet earth. It was barren at this stage. But it was a quiet place where they knew no-one else could hear their conversation. See Satan had revolted and God the Father and God the Son were lining up their defence against offence and their plan of attack. They (God the Father and God the Son) knew they had the strength to win this war but they wanted to rule with love and not by force or by fear, sure they could just wipe Satan out but that would only install fear into their subjects and that was not the rule heaven wanted. The only way was to ‘see it through’, no matter what the cost. And yes, the ‘cost’ was great indeed, already Jesus was feeling the weight of pressure from the tomb and both God the Father and God the Son were feeling the weight of humanity upon them. I won’t lie, they both shed tears. But looking down the ages there was hope and as they both could see the final outcome they were in agreeance, while this path was fiery the end thereof was:-

2nd Corinthians 4:17 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”

Yes, God the Father and God the Son could see the final result, the glory of heaven with peace and happiness reigning forevermore, yes once everyone got to heaven and the plan of salvation explained to man, with sin forever and eternally banished, yes it was worth it.

But back to the two bear cubs and their parents, heaven had to outline a plan to keep them safe, therefore on that barren planet God the Father and God the Son put their heads together and went over every aspect, every detail of that bear family’s life. Every detail was scrutinised and every ‘event’ was looked at from every angle. Once satisfied that nothing would ‘surprise’ them God the Father and God the Son wrote up the contract that would go between them and Satan, adding in the clauses that would be vital down the line. So with plans in place and a contract written God the Father and God the Son felt secure in the knowledge that their charge was safe and this ‘bear family’ had the opportunity to work for heaven without fear of losing their place in heaven. Every possible scenario was accounted for and every scenario was covered by a clause, they were ‘safe’ no matter what happened. But what God the Father and God the Son hadn’t countered for was the lengths and depth of pain. See pain was a new thing to heaven, one not encountered before and it became a bitter trial to God the Father and God the Son. Many were the times they cried together, often questioning the path they had taken, but they were committed to their creation and loved the human race dearly, they would ‘see it through’, after all they could see the end from the beginning and the final result was well worth it, but the pain ran deep. So covenant, contract and clauses written God the Father and God the Son returned to heaven and made known to the council the decisions made.

Moving down the time line, they (heaven) came to the era of the end of time and the ‘bear’ family bursts upon the scene. Let’s see where everything is up to.

The fires of affliction training this bear family have burned hot but to their credit they are still standing strong. The training grounds now are bare as the fires were slowly extinguished and looking in the mirror the entire bear family had come out shining like gold. Fights had been fought and many a battle won, many a foundation had been laid and now the stage was set, they were ready to face their final battle but it had come at a cost. Father bear had laid the groundwork, the foundation for his two cubs to follow in his footsteps and mother bear was all but worn through holding up first her husband then her cubs. Father bear was laid to rest and mother bear would be laying down her burden soon, both the cubs on the other hand were raring for the fight, both were ready to go and standing strong in Jesus. The younger of the two cubs was still very weak in health but healing was coming, the older of the two cubs was strong in body and mind and had the ability to ‘drag’ her sister through. As in days gone by she would uphold her weaker sister and help stabilise her and drag her through. Both cubs had passed through the red hot fires of affliction and both had passed the training grounds with flying colours. Heaven looked at these two cubs critically, were they ready to face the devil head on? As heaven studied these two cubs something stood out above everything else – their love for Jesus shone through like a beacon and their faces and character reflected His. Yes, these two blessed cubs would be pivotal in this fight for heaven and their reward and place in heaven was sealed and secured.

So, that was one family, with two bear cubs lined up ready to go and in the ‘posse’ for Jesus, but two were not enough. Heaven looked around, who else could and would endure the training and join the team? Others were tenderly drawn through the fires of affliction, training and other families were added to Jesus’ posse till Jesus knew He had enough to run the end of time events, to bring His people home. Home where happiness reigned and peace was forevermore.

So back on the barren planet earth God the Father and God the Son surveyed the line up of people in their posse, did they have enough? It wasn’t just the bear family there were others all lined up ready to go, but this bear family with maybe one or two others would be leading the fray and heaven wanted to be doubly sure they were ready to go, God the Father and God the Son also wanted to ensure that there was nothing within them or about them that would make them fail. Failure at this point would put them out of heaven and God the Father and God the Son would in no wise put them in that position, so every angle was scrutinised. God the Father and God the Son were satisfied, they could safely send these families into the fire knowing for a certainty that their lives would be safe, they could walk safely through the fire without faltering and come out the other side leading others to safety. Heaven was very proud and very grateful to these families who had put everything on the line for heaven. But what of the path to follow?

Friends let’s put this all together from heaven’s eyes. God the Father and God the Son have already started their run up to the time of trouble, can we be counted on to do our part? So let’s see what this looks like from heaven’s eyes. God the Father and God the Son have their ‘posse’, the angels are in place and the battle is about to begin. Heaven has been here before when they battled it out for heaven but there is a vast difference this time – the human element. This time God the Father and God the Son have another element to take into consideration – humans. This time the fighting has to be done through the human and this is where Satan has the advantage. See Satan forces his subjects, Jesus does not, but Jesus has what Satan does not – the gift of love and many people have joined Jesus’ side purely for the love God gives. Friends why do we serve God? yes, because we love Him and why do we love Him?:-

1st John 4:19 “We love him, because he first loved us.”

Friends, God the Father and God the Son have done their homework, they are in no wise going to leave anyone behind. They love us all dearly and they have searched out every possible scenario and put in place clauses to cover us. Heaven is our home and I for one am looking longingly toward my heavenly home.

Let’s go back to that barren planet earth and listen in to God the Father and God the Son as they lay their plans for the next section of the lives of our bear family, this is the final run and there is so much at stake. I believe we need to realise that God the Father and God the Son have seen this from all angles and we are covered by His grace, it will help us strengthen our resolve and assure us that God does have everything in hand.

God the Father and God the Son are deep in conversation, the path they are looking at is the final run to the end of time. They have it all laid out like a model on the ground, pathways marked, checkpoints moulded with clay marking the path and waymarks indicating changing direction or objectives met. It is all laid out along the ground, but for this council God the Father and God the Son are not alone. Two other angels have joined God the Father and God the Son. They are there at the request of God the Father and God the Son. Now these two angels, Gabriel and another angel, were two of the leading angels in heaven and God the Father and God the Son had asked them to join them on planet earth as they drew up the plans for the final run. All was solemn and serious, not one ‘occurrence’, not one ‘event’ could be looked over, the lives of the bear cubs family and a handful of others were at stake here and there was no way anything was going to go ahead if these families were in jeopardy. Jesus had faith in His angel warriors, He knew that they had the physical ability and fortitude to accomplish their commissions, no His concern was for the human element. These families weren’t just fighting Satan they would be fighting the very real human tendencies set up to protect them in the first place. See Jesus had put in place emergency measures for humans to ‘cope’ with situations that were above their ‘endurance’ but during the up and coming battle these ‘human nature’ traits would work against these precious soldiers of God. These families needed to be warned and made aware of this and shown how to deal with it.

Let’s digress here for a moment and go to a scenario that might help explain this theory.

See this is how the mind works, when a tragedy, pain or trauma happens the mind automatically looks for something to blame it on, Sally’s physical pain for instance, it was caused by chemotherapy so her mind blames the cancer, Mandy has for instance a broken leg, her mind blames the car accident, Sam has been through a traumatic accident and his mind has broken and it is blaming the accident and so on. This is human nature, it is nature’s way of protecting itself but we will address this later in the letter.

Friends, this is a very ‘touchy’ subject and I pray you don’t take me wrong here. Let’s continue.

Now in real time this ‘protection’ imbedded in human nature is for our benefit, see the human nature will blame whatever it sees as the cause, this will steady the mind and allow it to grab hold of a foundation. Then with time, the right environment, maybe counselling and sometimes medication the mind will heal and understanding and reason will be enough to stabilise the mind and return it to its natural state. So this human nature trait is a blessing but in our bear family’s case they won’t have the time, the ‘right environment’, the counselling or the medication, they will need to keep moving instantly. Their eyes will ‘see’ too much and the mind will endeavour to go down the natural path and they are going to have to stop it. (That’s to block the tendency of the human mind in its attempt to find something to blame.) This is where they will have to hold onto Jesus like never before.

But these weren’t the only factors the group on the planet earth looked into, let’s keep listening. There was a ‘point of no return’ a waymark that God the Father and God the Son were especially attracted to. This ‘point’ in time was the very last opportunity anybody had of ‘pulling out’, once that waymark was reached you were either in or out, you cannot change your mind once that waymark was passed. God the Father and God the Son deliberated long over this point in time, it was crucial, no-one would be sent ahead if they were going to fail so every aspect of everyone who reached this point was carefully scrutinised, were they ready and could they pass the test and walk the fiery trial. God the Father and God the Son put their seal of approval on one hundred and forty four thousand, they were chosen to walk the final path for Jesus and prove the devil wrong. God the Father and God the Son also put aside beautiful gifts and rewards for these saints who would be so tried in the fire, gifts to say thank you.

Friends, summing this all up I believe we can see what a beautiful and loving Saviour we have. Nothing has been left to chance, God the Father and God the Son really do love us and they have scrutinised every step of our pathway ensuring everyone will make it into heaven, nothing has been left to chance. We also have God’s personal assurance that if danger threatens to engulf us we will be lifted out to safety at a moment’s notice. Friends, let’s not be afraid to lift our hand or our voice to heaven and call for help, heaven loves to help us and I don’t believe people call on them enough, heavenly angels are standing right beside us longing to lift our burden. Jesus and His angels are waiting to minister to our needs, we only have to ask. Friends, have you heard of the saying ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’? Well, I for one am putting all my eggs in one basket but I’m giving the basket to Jesus, I know He’ll keep me safe.

Let’s wrap this up with another allegory.

“We’ll call him Rob. Rob was major excited, he was going with the school on a excursion, today they were going to the beach. Rob sat in the bus along with the other students and listened rather impatiently to the teacher. The teacher was standing at the front of the bus giving out instructions. The plan, the teacher said, was all laid out and the children only had to follow it. The teachers had spent plenty of time going over this excursion with a fine tooth comb, every scenario was checked just to make sure of the safety of the kids, after all the beach could be a dangerous place. The teacher at the front of the bus droned on and after a while Rob’s mind wandered and he thought of all the fun he was about to have. The teacher suddenly brought Rob’s mind back to the present, the teacher had asked everyone to put up their hand if they understood her instructions but Rob hadn’t been listening. Seeing everyone else with their hand up Rob quickly put up his. The bus started and all the children shouted for joy. Rob felt a little guilty but quickly shoved the feeling aside, he was going to have fun. The bus arrived at the beach and all the students piled out, first stop was the lifeguard tower. Man, that was interesting but Rob hadn’t paid too much attention to what the lifeguard was saying, he was too interested in looking at all the cool stuff. Well, that over, there was only one thing left to do, swim, and Rob took full advantage of his time in the sea. He imagined himself to be a good swimmer, hadn’t he won awards at school swim meets? So when he saw the lifeguard waving to him he just waved back, once again he saw the lifeguard trying to get his attention and once again Rob ignored him. Time passed and Rob began to feel tired, he was also getting hungry, surely it must be lunchtime. Rob turned toward the shore, strange it looked a lot further away than he expected, never mind he was a good swimmer so surely he would be back at the shore soon. Rob also noticed to his dismay that he had drifted a fair way apart from his fellow classmates. He kept swimming but he didn’t seem to be getting any closer, Rob really started to tire and slowly panic started to envelop him. What had the teacher said? what had the lifeguard said? Rob groaned, if only he had listened, the plan had been laid out, there was a contingency in place for this scenario but Rob had been so absorbed with his own thoughts he hadn’t listened. Now he was in serious trouble, Rob put his head in his hands and tried to remember what to do. In the meantime one of the lifeguards in the tower had noticed Rob and was watching him carefully, did this boy need help? The lifeguard had tried to warn Rob earlier but Rob hadn’t heeded him, the lifeguard had also noticed Rob during the morning talk and he could see Rob was in a world of his own and not listening. Taking a final look at Rob’s location the lifeguard grabbed a rescue board and headed out. Rob in the meantime was in peril, panic had set in and he was floundering about, suddenly he remembered and raised his hand, waving it about in a desperate attempt to be noticed. Little did Rob know that help was already on the way.”

Friends, I believe the moral of this story is easy to see. The teachers had the ‘plan’ all laid out, the teachers warned the students of the dangers and how to stay safe. Rob strayed as I believe we all have from time to time, but friends there is always a lifeguard watching and when we are at our lowest and the waves of the storm are washing over our heads remember the lifeguard, Jesus is already on the way.