For twenty years, this little congregation, almost a thousand miles from the Appalachian Trail, has been the sending Church for Circuit Rider's ministry to the A.T. Community. Located immediately north of the Mackinac Bridge, in Michigan's stunning Up per Peninsula, this amazing Church family, with a heart for hikers they have never met, demonstrates, in countless ways, their support to CR with every step he takes each year on the Granddaddy of all Trails,
Lost in the Fog.
If the trail were not maintained and well traveled, it would grow over in many places to the point of obscurity. Downed trees would become obstacles. Time would overtake it, and obliterate the clearly marked path. Add some heavy fog, and many could easily lose their way.
In John's account of Jesus’ life, he recorded a conversation Jesus had with a man named Nicodemus, in which He clearly marks the “trail” to eternal life.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God". (John 3:16-18)
So what is the real barrier on the trail to belief? What “fog” obscures the clear path to eternal life?
Jesus answers this in John 3:19-20
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed".
Some say it is because there is too much suffering in the world. Others say they cannot find good answers to odd or difficult passages in the Bible. But Jesus states that belief finds its greatest obstacle somewhere other than the lack of answers to difficult questions. There are plenty of people, myself included, who believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins, but do not have answers for some very hard questions, particularly about suffering. The barrier, in Jesus' judgment, is that people "love the darkness”, and do "wicked things". Questions about suffering, and passages of the Bible that raise difficult questions, are a fog that obscure what Jesus plainly states to be the true obstacle to belief.
Jesus came into the world "to save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). That can happen even for those who do not have the answer to some very hard questions about life.
The real question is "Do you really want to be saved from your sins"?Richard WardManaging Editor