this can be literal, as when a skier is caught unaware in an avalanche and ends up buried alive by snow. This can also be metaphorical, which I believe is much more common. I can end up feeling buried alive beneath the cares and concerns of the coming day before the sun has even risen. The anticipated dread of what the day will bring often overtakes and buries me before I have a chance to get to higher ground. (a good reason to seek safe ground via prayer before the onslaught of avalanches comes my way) The difficulties, pain, losses, failures, conflicts, and uncertainties the day brings continue to pile on, eventually leaving me buried beneath the weight of the world’s accumulated problems.
The skier needs to dig his way out from under all that snow if he is to find fresh air to breathe and live. Likewise, I need to find my way out from under all that has buried me and threatens to take my life if I can’t find the way up and out from where I am. Trouble is, once buried, it is dark and I often lose my sense of direction in the dark. I become disoriented. I no longer know which way is up and which is down. This loss of direction will prove fatal in the end. If I am headed in the wrong direction, I will not end up in the light and fresh air but will end up even farther from light and air than I was when I started.
This can happen to scuba divers who become disoriented while diving deep under the ocean’s surface. If they no longer know which way is up and which is down, they don’t know which way to swim to return to the ocean’s surface and fresh air. This loss of direction proves fatal in the end. Whether I am buried beneath water, snow, earth or the cares of the world, a sense of direction is essential if I am to survive – if I am to find my way back to fresh air, light, hope and home.
Avalanches are unexpected. They take us by surprise. There are days I suddenly find myself buried alive beneath – well, beneath so many things – both personal challenges and those needs, heartaches and dire straights of those I know and care about – which add up, threatening to engulf me – and as I gasp for air, the problems of the world, the whole world, dark and dangerous, pile on, eliminating any last light that was visible from my position at the bottom of what quickly becomes a pit, my pit.
Now, in the darkness, I quickly become disoriented. I forget which way is up. I am without air, without light, without markers to give me direction, without hope – buried alive – who can rescue me? Who can show me which way to go? Who can show me the way out? I need to know the truth – which way is up? When I am buried alive, I need to know the way to fresh air, light and life. Fortunately for me, there exists a person who is the answer to these urgent questions of mine. In John 14:6 I read,
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ “
I am looking for the way – the way up, the way out, the way forward, the way that leads to life – and as it turns out, Jesus is The Way! When I find myself buried alive, I can look to Him to receive the direction that I so desperately need. Actually, I will call to Him because when I am buried beneath my burdens, I am in a dark place. The darkness hides His face. I am not able to see Him, so I have to call out in my darkness. He always answers. Jesus is the way which will lead me out of this live burial place into the light – His light – His love – His life.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (Psalm 40:1-2)
The apostle Paul knew what it was to be buried alive. In Romans 7:24 he cried out,
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Paul felt the hardships and the heartaches of this world pressing down on him, probably most keenly during the times he spent in prison. Paul dealt with the sickness and the sin that threatened to bury him and others alive under the sheer weight of it all by turning to Jesus, who is The Way, to show him the way. Today, we are still subject to being buried alive under the multitude of things we encounter every day. When difficulties pile too high, our way is blocked, our vision is cut off. Eventually, we end up in total darkness, lost and disoriented. We can’t see or find our way out when we don’t know which way is up and which is down.
We need the One who is The Way, to show us the way. We need light to come into our darkness. In John 8:12 I read,
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ ”
Jesus very presence is light. His presence with me brings the light I need in order to see clearly which way is up, which direction I need to go to be saved from this avalanche which has buried me alive. Looking to my Heavenly Father gives me the direction I need in those times when I don’t know which way to go because I don’t know which way is up. I have His promise in Psalm 32:8 –
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”
Being buried alive is very scary – there seems to be no way out – no way of escape. But my cries in the darkness are heard and answered. My Heavenly Father says,
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)
thank You, Lord for rescuing me when I am buried alive by the cares of this world, thank You for making a way out when there was no way, thank You for digging me out time after time –
sincerely, Grace Day
One thought on “buried alive”
What an encouraging and hopeful post. Something we all need to hear especially when we feel so overwhelmed with life and our current state of affairs. What a blessed reminder.