In the Forest of Traps, a boy named Struggle was wandering. The deeper into the forest he went, the darker it became. The vines were thick. The tree trunks were black. The leaves on the trees were dark, broad and menacing. Wet, oozing moss grew up around just about everything. Sunlight was difficult to find.
Struggle was following the Path he was told by the Forerunners would lead him to a great light, which also brought freedom from all traps. However, he was beginning to think he believed a lie. Many others were also in the Forest of Traps. Some were stuck in deep moss. Others were wrapped in tough, sticky leaves. Still others were tied up in the vines. Struggle became fearful and wondered how he would ever get out.
The Forerunners who told him about the Path gave him a box named Faithful. As his fear peaked to the highest he had ever felt, he also recalled this box. He wondered why a box would be named Faithful. He pulled it out and admired its simple elegance. The fine wood was encased with ornate gold trim. He opened the box and quickly examined the inside. This box looks nice, but it doesn’t seem very helpful, he thought.
But then, his fear nearly overcoming him, he recalled the words of the Forerunners. They told him that the Forest of Traps can only ensnare those who are careless and ignore the glow of the box.
So he let his gaze linger on the glow. As he did so, the glow grew. The Path he was walking on became more vivid. The vines, moss, trees and leaves near him suddenly looked much less foreboding. Then from the box, golden gleams began to float before him leading him down the Path and away from the clutches of the traps.
He gladly followed the glow until not much longer he found his way out of the Forest of Traps. His joy was great although looking ahead he discovered that the Path only led to another forest. This forest and others after it would desire to trap him, but the more he would recall the deliverance he found from the Forest of Traps and the more he trusted the glow from Faithful, the more his confidence grew stronger for the journey ahead.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Your propensity for true freedom is directly proportional to your reliance on Faithful.
How has Faithful delivered you?
My guide to the parable:
- Forest of Traps: temptation
- Struggle: each of us when we endure
- Path: our journey of faith
- Faithful: God, his Spirit filling and guiding us
- Glow and gleams: intently gazing on the Word of God brings light that leads to freedom
- Way out: the wisdom that guides us to freedom
- Forerunners: the church
I would love to know what you think of this parable! Please read it to children and let me know how they respond to it.