The ground where she lay, chilled her back. Towering dirt walls rose above her on both sides. White clouds floated out of her reach on a background of the bluest of blue.
She shouldn’t be here. A smooth path ran through the ditch and curved around to places unknown to her. Why was she here? She should be above.
Jumping to her feet, she searched for a way out. Though her eyes stung from the plume of dust, she dared not close them for fear of falling further into the caves she glimpsed down the ditch’s path. The walls were steep. Too steep to climb. The canyon floor was smooth against the bottom of her feet as she walked along the walls looking for footholds. She must escape. She had to get back to where she belonged. Though she couldn’t remember exactly where that was.
In her haste, she stumbled and fell. She couldn’t get out of here on her own.
Faint voices came from somewhere down the winding path of the ditch. As the sound of other people grew louder, the hope of freedom flittered within her.
The voices grew louder. She ran down the path. Around a curve stood many others stuck in this same ditch. Running up to them, she asked them for advice. “Excuse me. How do I get out of here?”
Another girl sadly shook her head. “There’s no way out. We’re trapped here until we die. Better make the most of it.”
“No. That can’t be true.” She ran to another. “Please help. I don’t want to be down here. How can I get to the surface?”
“I don’t know miss. I’ve never tried to leave. Though, I don’t suppose you can. But don’t cry. I was born here you see. It’s not so bad.”
The girl heard a cry behind her. “Help! Help me! Don’t leave me here! I want to live!”One was clawing at the steep dirt wall yelling at the top of her lungs. Her filthy hands grabbed the wall and tried to climb. But the dirt fell away. The ditch became wider but just as steep.
The girl turned to see one clawing at the steep dirt wall yelling at the top of her lungs. Her filthy hands grabbed the wall and tried to climb. But the dirt fell away. The ditch became wider but just as steep. “Help! Help me!”
“Stop it!” The other’s screamed. “There isn’t a way out! There’s no hope! There’s no way out.”
All hope the girl had vanished as she watched the one continue to cry for help. She wanted to cry for help with her, but she needed the other’s help to survive in this ditch. She didn’t want to make them angry. Though she remained silent, she wondered to herself. Was there no help for them? Was there truly no way out? Would she ever hear the clear song of a bird? Would she never feel the wind blow through her hair? Or feel the sun warm her face? Could she never rest her feet in a bubbling brook, or run barefooted through soft grass? Did those things even exist? Would she forever live in the dark, dingy ditch?
“Is there no hope for me?”
Another moved close to her side. “There’s no need to complain. It’s not so bad down here. There are jewels. Come look! I’ll show you.
The girl followed the others down the ditch’s path. Darkness grew with every step as she descended into the earth. She glanced back at the dim ditch where the one was still screaming for help. She should go back. Maybe there was a Savior?
“Come see!” The other’s called as they pulled her toward a strange light.
Colorful jewels of all shapes and sizes sparkled and flashed. The kaleidoscope of colors mesmerized her making her forget the darkness of the cave and the depth of the ditch. It was more than lovely.
When she came to herself, she once again lay on the cold ground of the ditch. The wind from above whistled softly. Something was missing. The screaming one had stopped crying for help.
But, where was she?
No one knew.
The girl walked along the ditch walls searching, looking for the one who wanted help, and searching for a way out.
“Come. Let’s go look at the jewel’s the other’s called.”
Her life became a pattern. In the cave, the bright colors of the jewels gave her mind a brief escape. But every morning, she’d found herself still stuck in the ditch. Every day, she’d looked for the one who’d screamed for help. And she asked the others how to get out of the ditch. She was given a variety of answers.
If she could only jump high enough.
If she could learn how to fly.
Or perhaps, if she could control the jewels, she could transport herself to the surface.
She tried all these things. Nothing worked. Hopelessness crept into her soul, and she died a little more every day.
One morning as she opened her eyes, dreading the thought of another day trapped in the ditch, she looked past the dirt walls toward the sky. She saw the one who’d cried for help walking along the edge of the ditch in freedom.
“Please.” The girl begged up above her. “How did you get out of here? How can I get up there?”
One smile gave the girl hope.
“You can get out. If you cry for help. The savior will hear, and He’ll rescue you.”
A shadow passed as the one above her moved away from the ditch.
The girl jumped to her feet and ran to the wall. “Wait! Help me! Don’t leave me here. I want to live.”
Over and over she cried. “Help! Help me!! Don’t leave me here. I want to live.
Her cries awoke the others. “Hush!” They screamed. “There is no way out!!”
But the girl now knew differently. There was a way out. She didn’t know who this Savior was, but she knew He was out there. If he could save one, He could save her. She didn’t care what the others thought. She had to live! She must live! She looked toward the sky and cried louder. A hand stretched toward her. Miraculously, He reached down into the ditch, all the way down the steep walls, and pulled her to the surface.
A hand stretched toward her. Miraculously, He reached down into the ditch, all the way down the steep walls, and pulled her to the surface.
Tears of joy ran down her face as she beheld her Savior. He was real. There was a way out. He was the way. All she had to do was cry for help, and He had found her. Oh, how she wished that she’d asked for help sooner.
***This is not the end, but only the beginning of the girl’s story. But first, here are a few things that we can learn from her.
- All of us at some point have been stuck in this ditch called sin – which by its simplest definition is separation from God.
- Most of us want out of the ditch. However, most of us are taking advice from the wrong people and looking for help in the wrong places and things.
- Some allow the jewels of pleasure to convince them the ditch isn’t that bad.
- Some think they can climb out on their own.
- Some dream “if only.”
- Some say it’s hopeless.
- We must be careful from whom we take advice. If others are stuck in the same ditch as we are, they can’t help us get out.
- Even if you don’t know the Savior, He will save you when you cry out to Him. He will reach down and pull you out of your sin.
- After you get out of your ditch, your freedom will inspire others to call out to God.
- You can’t save them.
- If you try, they will pull you back down into the ditch.
- Tell them about your Savior and encourage them to cry out to Him.
- After your salvation, as you continue to walk in the light and love of the Savior, you will experience joy, peace, and blessings like you never imaged.
***I was once the girl in the ditch. I tried every way possible to get out on my own. I took some bad advice. Allowed the shiny things of sin to convince me the ditch was fun. But one day, I cried out to Jesus. Others told me to shut up. Possibly because when I cried for help, it exposed the lie that their sin was not that bad.
Jesus heard me. He reached down and saved me. Now, I follow Him down life’s pathway with joy, love, peace, and freedom.
You can, too.
Even if you don’t know who Jesus is, cry out to Him and let Him save you from the ditch of sin. And if you have been saved, tell others to cry out to Him.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. ~ Psalm 40:2-3