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The Road Through the Swamp

My morning walk takes me through a swamp. It isn’t a large swamp, only a wet area along the banks of a small stream. I enjoy the swamp. Rabbits and deer shelter in its bushes. The deep grass stands heavy with dew. Tiny minnows swim in the clear, shallow brook. The standing water reflects the sky. The whole visual picture seems to call out for exploration.

Swamp picture

Yet, as I ponder the scene, I realize that I don’t want to get serious about exploring the swamp. That beautiful dewy grass is wet enough to leave clothing soaked. The mud under the grass stands to make walking difficult. The mud under the water is likely almost as bad as quicksand. What is beautiful to look at would be miserable to experience. I’ll keep my swamp exploration confined to the road, thank you.

It’s in the swamp, perhaps, that I best understand what a fine thing a road is. I can experience the swamp, smell its smells, see its beauty, and enjoy the morning air against my face. But I’m dry and comfortable. In either direction, the road heads uphill, leading away from the swamp and back to an environment in which I can thrive.

There’s another road in my life. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (From John 14:6) The word way is an old way of saying road. Jesus claims to be the road, the road to God. We often think of following a road, but a road isn’t just something to follow. A road also supports us. Jesus doesn’t just show us the way through the moral swamp called sin. He literally keeps us out of it. He doesn’t just show us the way to Heaven--He carries us there.

Spiritually speaking, I’m not in the swamp today. Oh true, I still live in this sinful world. But I’m out of the mess. I’m where I am, not because I’m such a swamp master, but because I’m on the road. When Jesus says, “I am the road,” I know He is telling the truth, because I’m no longer in sin’s swamp. Are you sinking spiritually today, or have you found the One who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”?

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