God’s compassion came to mankind’s rescue in their miserable state after the fall — The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (NIV Gen 3: 21). We also learn that it is God’s loving nature to, not only rescue the injured and fallen, but also warn those heading for a fall. Did He not forewarn Cain lovingly? “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (NIV Gen 4: 7bcd).

When we fail to heed His warnings or proudly spurn His loving overtures, God affords us the luxury of falling which is a blessing in disguise, precisely meant to bring us to our senses. The Parable of the Prodigal Son provides the most beautiful imagery of God’s saving love: He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (NIV Lk 15:16-20)

In this parable, our Lord implicitly but profoundly reveals this — suffering brings us to our senses so that we may undergo a change of heart. Our pride can be shed only when we come to our senses after the fall which invariably follows pride. God humbles the proud hearted only to save them and not to humiliate them; shedding pride after a fall is a wonderfully joyful experience. Every time we suffer a setback or major disappointment or failure despite best efforts, it is an opportunity and Godsend invite to enter the narrow way.

Slavery to sin distances a person from God and has the natural consequence of restlessness and a craving for rest and peace. At a chosen time, God confronts the sinner with the offer to liberate. This is the time of reckoning and the greatest opportunity. A sinner’s acceptance of God’s offer begins with change of heart (metanoia). The humbling induced change of heart, places a person on the road to divinity which is the narrow way. It is literally crossing over from death to life; recall what our Lord taught: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (NIV John 5:24).