I remember watching the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs when I was little. There was this one scene where Snow White was lost in the forest at night, and it came alive with dangers, eyes of scary creatures and the like. That scene scared me so much.
I always thought “lost” was a metaphor. But this was what it was to be lost:
Everywhere I turned, an unknown danger. A threat. A horror I couldn’t quite see and therefore could neither fight nor run from. I wanted to claw my way out of the forest before I stumbled over the edge into the bottomless pit. This was the fear of hell. It was ugly and horrible and all-consuming, and there was no escaping it.
I don’t remember what I prayed–which is probably good, so I can’t credit my words with the power to save–but I do remember these words coming out of my mouth at some point: “God, don’t save me now, or I’ll think I did something right.”
Salvation is not an intellectual grasp of the facts. It’s not a life of faith-proving good works. It’s not me at all. Salvation is Jesus, running into that snarly woods, through the darkness, fighting through all the brambles and dangers, and grabbing my hand so tight He’ll never let go. The sun comes out, and I see Him, and He promises me He’ll get me where we’re going.