2 Corinthians 4:6 - For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Lukas Cavar is a 19-year-old freshman at Indiana University.
Cavar is also a spelunker, which is just a big-word way of saying he enjoys stalagmites and stalactites and the myriad wonders of exploring caves. Most recently, he and 12 other members of the school's Caving Club did some underground work at Sullivan Cave, which is located just a few miles away from the University.
At the end of the day, everyone agreed that it had been a fun time.
Everyone agreed it had been a grand time -- everyone that is -- except for Cavar. You see, somehow, someway, he became separated from the rest of the group. Somehow, someway, he wasn't missed when the others got into their vehicles to return to the school.
Nobody noticed that Cavar wasn't around on Sunday night and Monday morning and Monday afternoon and evening. Finally, someone did notice he wasn't around. No, it wasn't the school or his fellow spelunkers. It was Cavar's parents who filed a missing person's report with the school, and news of the report eventually reached the Caving Club's leaders.
Quick as a shot, they were out to Sullivan Cave where they found their missing pal. During the 60-plus hours he had been missing, Cavar had stayed hydrated by licking water off the cave's walls. He had unsuccessfully tried to pick the cave's padlocked gate and, after he had beaten back some panic attacks, used his cell phone to text a farewell to those people whom he held dear. Knowing the signal would never get out of the cave, it was his hope that when his lifeless corpse was found, some forensic expert would have the wisdom to charge his phone and share his last thoughts.
The aftermath of all this is Cavar's parents are happy, and the Caving Club is not because they had ignored some of the safety rules, which are at the heart of cave exploration. As for Cavar, he returned to class on Thursday with a new attitude. He said, "I'm really glad to be alive. It feels like I've been given a second chance."
When I first heard the story of Cavar, it seemed proper to spend some time pointing out how much his story and ours are similar. You know,
1. like Lukas we were in darkness and unable to help ourselves;
2. like him we should be glad for a Savior who came to give us a second chance.
The only problem with that approach was this: while Cavar had been forgotten by his fellow club members, we sinners have always been remembered. Read through Scripture and you will see that while humanity regularly forgets the Lord, the Lord never forgets humanity.
When our first ancestors walked away from God in the Garden of Eden, it was the Triune Deity who came looking for us, and it was the Father who promised to send His Son as the suffering Sacrifice who would carry our transgressions, receive our punishment, forgive, and save our souls.
No, the Lord never forgot us, and because of that we can be glad to be alive.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may I always remember -- and never forget -- the love You have given me in the Savior, Jesus Christ. It is in His Name we pray. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by the AP on September 22, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries