The Search by Marla Bentien
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).
The family was in a panic. Mom and the two youngest children were long overdue to arrive at a friend’s house several miles out of town. No one had heard from them.
The three had been enjoying the beauty of the forested hills when a tire blew and they ran off the dirt road. While Mom and the 12-year-old boy were inspecting the car, the 8-year-old girl decided to go exploring and wandered off into the maze of trees. It didn’t take long to locate her, but by then they had gone too far off the beaten path and were unable to find their way back to the car.
Rain had begun to fall and daylight was fading as neighbors and friends joined the family in a desperate search. Meanwhile, Grandma and two teenage girls waited at home, the older woman attempting to keep young hands and minds occupied. Before long, they took a break for a bite to eat, and Grandma prayed, “Thank You for watching over our loved ones…and for being with us in our time of trouble.”
One of the girls refused the food. “We can’t eat. Momma and the children are lost and may never be found.” Grandma offered comfort. “In the eye of the Almighty they are not lost.” There was a brief silence, and then a question for Grandma. “Do you really believe God hears you when you pray?” “Oh, yes!” she said confidently. The teenager continued. “I wish I could believe. How can you really believe?” Grandma’s answer came without hesitation: “Because there’s nothing else.”
I love Grandma’s forthright statement in this popular episode of the 1970s family drama “The Waltons” (so you can be assured there was a happy ending). I certainly don’t take my theological cues from Hollywood, but I have to admit that I was pretty proud of Grandma’s firm conviction that “there’s nothing else.” Some scriptwriter somewhere sure got it right!
Our enemy, Satan, will of course make endless options available to people as they continually search for meaning and purpose and happiness. All around us we see evidence and devastating results of searching in all the wrong places. We mortals cannot live without meaning and purpose (which lead to a measure of happiness), and so we are always seeking for “the answer,” something to fill the empty and cracked places inside. The truth that many people don’t want to accept is that there is only one way to fill the void – only one solution, one answer, one way, one Person who is our Source of Life.
People often object and consider it ridiculous that there could possibly be only one way and one truth for all of humanity. They say there are many paths that lead to God, a belief that conveniently allows you to follow any “ism” that you want to. This line of reasoning, however, doesn’t seem logical to me. If there are many, many choices, how do you know you are choosing correctly? Every option cannot be the right one. In fact, many, if not most, philosophies and religions actually contradict each other. How then can they all be right? They can’t! Instead, it is common sense that there is one God who has made one door available to anyone and everyone. The playing field is leveled and each individual has the opportunity to accept or reject the Source of Life (John 3:16). It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live or in what era, not even what level of education, fame or finances you have achieved. The requirement is only to believe that this Door (Jesus) is the only way, the only truth and the only life. We accept this truth, and then we trust Him, love Him, and live our lives for Him. Because there’s no One else.