There once was a man who took a walk in the woods. As he was walking, gazing up in wild wonder, considering all the worlds God’s hands had made, he suddenly felt himself falling. Soon his fall was stopped by the loud “thud” of his body hitting the ground and all the air being knocked out of his lungs. As he caught his breath he scanned his surroundings and realized what had happened. He had fallen into a deep hole.
Looking up he could see the sunshine and the bright sky. He could hear the wind blowing through the leaves on the trees. All the sounds of the forest that just a minute ago had given him such a sense of peace and serenity, were now merely echoes of a world that he had seemingly lost. Try as he might, he was unable to jump or even climb his way out of the hole.
So, he did the only other thing that he knew to do and that was to yell at the top of his lungs. Hoping that someone, just like himself, had the same calling to the forest on this beautiful, sunny day. A someone who would rescue him.
After a while he grew tired of yelling and became frustrated over his predicament. He sat down in the corner of the hole, put his head into his hands and started to cry. He didn’t cry out of fear. He cried out of a sense of sadness and desperation. For in his wandering mind he imagined being found as merely a skeleton by a future archeologist. He thought of everything that he wouldn’t do and all the people he would never see again. For this man he knew that this was the end.
That is when he heard footsteps. The sound of leaves rustling got louder and louder. He restarted his rebel yelling once more, not to miss this opportunity. That is when he saw him. A man standing at the top of the hole, looking down at him in amazement.
“How did you get down there?” the stranger asked. “I fell”, the man replied. “Can you climb out?” the stranger continued. “Yes, I just choose not to.” retorted the man. Sensing that the stranger wasn’t able to understand the sarcasm of such a snarky comment, he continued, “I fell and I am unable to get out. Will you help me?” The stranger then lifted his head, as if to look around to make sure that the two were actually alone. He then looked back down into the hole and said “No. I have to get home and I don’t have time to help you.” In a flash the stranger was gone and the man was left, in utter shock and amazement, still at the bottom of the hole.
It wasn’t long though until the man heard a second set of footsteps in the forest above. Again, he started to yell and before he knew it, there was a second stranger standing at the top of the hole. This time the man decided to get right to the point and simply asked if this stranger could help him get out of the hole. To which the stranger lifted off his hat, rubbed his head, looked around the hole, put his hat back on and stated, “You ain’t getting out of that hole anytime soon.” Then this second stranger walked off and left the man stuck at the bottom of the hole.
As the sun started to set and night began to fall on the forest, the man gave up all hope. He knew that he was going to die in this hole. And his faith in humanity had been severely shaken, to boot. That’s when he thought he heard a third set of footsteps in the forest above. Yet, he was too despondent to even start yelling. He simply sat there looking up, out of the hole, toward the heavens. He then saw a third stranger looking down at him. Before he could even get out a word, this stranger jumped down into the hole and landed right next to where the man was sitting.
“Why did you do that?” the man asked. “I have been stuck in here all day. One stranger didn’t have time to help me. Another stranger just refused to help. And now both of us are stuck in here.” The third stranger stood up, brushed the dirt off of his pants, reached out his hand and said, “Don’t worry. I’ve been in this hole before and I know how to get out.”
It’s hard to see past where you are. It’s hard to have hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. It’s hard to believe in a possibility that you never even knew existed. This is why God came and dwelt among us as Jesus. He jumped down into the hole to help us see past where we are. To give us hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. And to present us with possibilities that we never even knew existed.