Honor and hats off to the thousands of rescuers: the EMTs, firefighters, military including U.S. Coast Guard, doctors and nurses, and more. And the most honor to our Lord, Jesus Christ, the ultimate rescuer for those who trust in and obey Him. Are you one of them?
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Many of you know how, in December 1996, my son and four other professional fishermen were rescued while on the way home from a fishing trip in the Bering Sea. Williwaws (violent gusts of wind) came over the mountains of the Alaska Peninsula at nearly 100 mph, slamming into the sea and into their boat. My son and the other crew members tried frantically to chip fast-building ice from the boat so it wouldn’t become top heavy and capsize. But their efforts proved futile. They donned their survival suits and sent an emergency message to the U.S. Coast Guard before jumping off the 72-foot boat into a tiny life raft. They followed all the rules of survival at sea.
Huddling in the cold, wet, tossing raft, they waited until finally a Coast Guard helicopter crew arrived from the Kodiak station. The pilot lowered a swimmer to rescue the men, one at a time, while he kept the ‘copter hovering about 400 feet above the sea. None were lost in spite of the terrible sea conditions, the ‘copter running low on fuel, its windshield unable to remain clear of freezing salt water spray, and the rescue swimmer’s depleting energy.
We hear of rescues every day. Emergency crews rescue men trapped from auto accidents. First responders and some concerned citizens keep children from harm, rescue victims held at gunpoint and carry people from burning buildings. Environmental groups prevent forests from being clear cut, save rivers from pollution and clean up toxic areas.
But the ultimate rescuer is God. His greatest rescue came in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ, sent to save the world from sin and give us peace with God. “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ …” (Romans 5:1) We don’t deserve entry into heaven because we’re born in sin. But God in His love has rescued us.
Just as my son and the fishing crew couldn’t rescue themselves from their sinking ship, we cannot rescue ourselves from sin simply by trying to follow rules and commandments. Only by turning away from sin and, in faith, embracing the truth of Jesus’ death on the cross and His bodily resurrection from the dead, can we have any hope of rescue. He is our ultimate rescuer.
Lord, thank You for rescuing us from sin through Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for the hope of eternal life, for peace, for joy and for righteousness. In Jesus’ name, amen.