Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Great Chasm of Natirar

NATIRAR (Raritan spelled backwards)
This past Saturday, Brian and I took the dogs to the park for a walk. There is a cinder track that meanders around the perimeter of the park, and a river that also runs along the outer edges of that track for much of the time. At one point, a stream shoots out under a bridge and ends up along the other side of the track...water surrounds the path...a river on one side and a stream on the other. A cement ledge borders the other side of that stream and there is a big field in the middle. I hope you can get the picture here...

We were walking nicely along the track, and as we went over that bridge, I noticed two young girls running along the moss covered cement ledge. One was clearly the leader...fearlessly running and yelling at someone...possibly on the other side of the stream. Of course, as the older, mature woman that I have morphed into, I wondered where their parents were.

Once we came around the bend, where the track was surrounded by water on both sides, I saw what I assume were the parents...Mom pushing a stroller and Dad running alongside the stream...on the other side of the stream. The girls were running on the ledge, yelling to Dad, and Dad was following them from the other side, making sure they stayed safe. 

It made me think of our Heavenly Father...how He is always running along the other side, making sure we are safe. We call out to Him...Abba Daddy? Are you there? Is it okay if I run here? Is it okay if I play along the edge? You're still there, right? He delights in us! He delights to watch us and protect us. I'm sure that dad gave his daughters boundaries to stay within while they were temporarily out of his immediate reach. We are always safe when we know our Abba Daddy is right there watching us, and when we stay in the confines of His boundaries. But what about those who run fearlessly along the ledge of their lives without a God to call out to-without that protection, that assurance that Someone is on the other side? He is there; they just don't know it, or they choose not to acknowledge Him, or...maybe they don't know how to reach Him.

I've been to this park hundreds of times. I know the lay of the land; however, I still wondered, "How will those girls be reunited with their Dad?" If you look at the pictures, you'll see another culvert where the stream runs back into the main river. Chasm is the word that came to my mind. Okay, this isn't quite a chasm. A chasm is a deep gorge, a canyon--something quite impossible to cross on your own. But you see where I'm going here? Those girls needed a way to get back to their father. The culvert filled in that "chasm" and created a bridge where they could be safely reunited with their father.

For those who are running fearlessly along the ledge of their lives, there is no way to the other side...not on their own. But the cross provides a way-Jesus becomes that culvert, that bridge to the Father. What a beautiful and selfless picture! 

Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). That's pretty straightforward. Do you know Jesus? Have you accepted His gift? Do you run fearlessly along the ledge of your life, wondering if you fall in, what will happen? Or do you run unafraid, in joyful abandon, knowing that your Abba Father delights in protecting you and will always be there on the other side? 

Blessings Along the Path,

Song of the Day:
Abba Father (Daniel Doss Band)

Natirar Park Official Website

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