I was a junior kid when I crawled through a hole in a wire fence. There were about six of us kids and it took a little time for us to crawl through the hole, one person at a time.
The hole gave us access into a field. Our adventure was underway. I say adventure, but it was a pathetic rout. We arrived at a building site. No workmen were present and there was no security on the premises. We got into all kinds of mischief. We trashed piles of gravel across the yard. We hurled hundreds of house bricks and smashed them onto concrete. We lobbed planks of wood into nearby gardens and smashed windows. We slung boxes of bolts everywhere and emptied bags of cement and sand into a nearby car. What the hell were we thinking? It was an act of mindless vandalism. Someone somewhere should hold us to account.
‘HEY ……….’ shouted a workman. He and his colleges had returned to the building site.
‘RUN’ shouted a childhood friend.
We had head start in the chase, but the workmen were fit, and they were closing in hot pursuit. We raced across the field towards the one single small hole in the fence through which we had entered. That hole was our only means of escape. Like rabbits on the run we converged on the hole, jostling for position to make our escape. It was like queuing up to retreat from Dunkirk. We’d either perish or be captured. I was the last culprit to get access to the hole. I positioned myself on the floor ready to scramble to safety. Too late. A builder grabbed hold of me by the scruff of the neck. He gripped my jumper like a vicious lion attacks its prey.
‘I’M GONNA…………….. KILL YOU, YOU LITTLE…………’
I was suspended in the dirt and soil positioned on my back in middle of the hole. The top half of my body was on the builder’s side of the fence. The lower part was free. The workman hit me on the head repeatedly with his fist. A boot in the back of the spinal column followed.
His anger was justified. His actions were right. But I needed to get out of that hole before he killed me.
I didn’t have time to think. It just happened. I slithered out of my jumper. Like a banana is unwrapped from its skin. I peeled myself away from a raging foe. The builder held my empty jumper in his hands.
‘I KNOW WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. I’VE SEEN YOUR FACE. YOU WON’T GET AWAY WITH THIS’
But I was gone. I managed to escape when it looked like there was no escape.
Our English word escape is an old word which means ‘to take off one’s cloak’.Escape means ‘to slip out of one’s cape and get away’.
Do you need to escape from an adversary? Do you need to free yourself from a crisis? Do you need to get away from some bad circumstances?
There’s a way out for us all. If we can’t see it and our way of escape is not obvious, look for it. Let’s faith our way out! Pray our way out! Talk our way out! Ask our way out!
But let’s not confuse escape with escapism. Escapism gives us relief only for a short time from something unpleasant. Escapism gives us a temporary distraction from the problem. But when you escape you get out of the problem completely. Escape is not just a change of focus. Escape is a change of circumstances. Burdens may be heavy. Troubles are many. But there’s a way out.
If the fear of death haunts you, know that Jesus Christ can get you out of the grave alive. The power of the Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will raise Christians back to life.
‘For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40. Trust in this promise and death has no hold on you.
If you’re a prisoner to a guilty conscience, know that the cross opens the way to God’s forgiveness.
‘We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins’. Col 1:14
‘The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin’ 1 John 1.7. Confess any wrongdoing and allow God’s peace to rule in your heart. Philippians 4.7.
If you’re a person bound by addiction the Lord is able to release you. A drug addict named Steve recalls the moment Jesus set him free from his addiction.
“About five in the morning I couldn’t sleep. I had a strange feeling come from my head and through my body. Someone was telling me through my own voice, that I wouldn’t need drugs or alcohol again. The withdrawals stopped, and tears were running down my face. They were tears of joy. I felt stronger than the pain that had been in me and I knew I had a chance of new life”.
The grace of God enables people to take charge of their lives and live more effectively. ‘If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. John 8:36.
You don’t have to believe any of this of course but then,
‘How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?’ Hebrews 2.3.