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Lent Devotional: Wednesday, March 6

John 14:5-6
Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life."

I lived in New York City for a few years and was surprised how many people I met who had never been out of the city. In fact, I occasionally met people who had never been outside their borough. I remember a conversation with a group of people from Staten Island as we looked out a 20th story window, and none of these lifelong residents of New York had ever been up that high.
My life hasn't been that way at all. I've lived in little Alabama towns of 2500 residents and cities ranging from 1 million to 6 million to 8 million residents. And between these places have been stretches of wilderness. I don't mean just the New Jersey Turnpike or Alabama Highway 331, although they are both their own sort of wilderness. Rather, I mean that between the moments of security and certainty in life, there are long stretches where the lights of the next destination haven't yet appeared on the horizon.

Family situations in which my best hopes and efforts were unsuccessful, periods of doubt in my faith, times of job frustration, and stretches of time without a sense of community have all seemed like wildernesses to me. And each time the fact that metaphorical city lights are absent has opened my eyes to see things that are more apparent in the dark. I have learned that when Jesus described Himself as a "journey," saying, "I am the WAY, the truth, and the life," that He was speaking especially to wilderness dwellers, assuring them that if they take one step, then another, they will find the lights on the horizon and follow them home.


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