Friday, January 21 2022 - 3:58 AM
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Waiting to Be Rescued

Dennis and Jamie Winegar were in the right place at the wrong time. The visitors from Houston, Texas, were among the bridge collapse survivors near downtown Minneapolis. Their car landed on top of a smaller car. You can imagine the terror they felt when they realized the road beneath their car had literally dropped out from under them.

Dennis said, “I slammed on my brakes and saw something in front of me disappear and then my car pointed straight down and we fell.” He estimated they dropped about 50 feet.1

Immediately, everyone who could got out of their cars and started helping each other off the bridge. Jamie Winegar said, “There were a bunch of people right around there helping everyone. Angels are what I call them.”2

It is amazing how people rally to help or rescue one another when a disaster occurs. We saw this with the 911 terrorist attacks on New York City, and we see it locally when tragedies occur. We realize how dependent we are upon one another for survival during such times.

The same is true in the spiritual realm. We need each other!

Search and Rescue

There is no reason to live except to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. Pursuing any other agenda will eventually lead to disillusionment and despair. Jesus said it best when He asked, “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul” (Matthew 16:26)?

The earth’s broken condition and inhabitants provide little hope for tomorrow. Science and technology cannot solve all of our problems. Certainly, medical technology has added more years to our lives, but what good does it do if people still have no clue why they exist? Living longer without a sense of purpose only prolongs the misery. Eventually, everyone still dies.

When I realize that God’s ultimate plan for humanity never included death and that currently, Heaven is in a search-and-rescue mode that feverishly seeks to reclaim people from sin’s deadly effects, then I begin to understand what I am needed for. God wants my assistance to help others find their way out of the disaster. Sin is a disaster in the making that has been boiling over for thousands of years. It has claimed millions of lives. It seems there is no solution to its deadly effects at times, yet God says there is.

God of Rescue

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again…”3

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”4

The rescue efforts continue in that many do not realize there is a way out. They haven’t been told, or at least haven’t heard it explained with any credibility.

That’s where you and I come in. God is asking those who have heard and accepted the “good news” to simply share it with those who haven’t. This gives purpose to our lives while we wait to be rescued. When we neglect to participate in God’s invitation to help, we not only call into question our own acceptance of God’s gift but also lose our sense of purpose and cease to have a reason to live. When this occurs, we’re simply taking up space and biding our time before our certain demise.

Saved by Grace

The only thing that can free us from such a mindless existence is a fresh dose of grace. When we are reminded of our own needs and realize how fortunate we are to have Jesus, it energizes us and gives us a desire to reach out and help others experience what we have found.

During the Minneapolis bridge collapse, Jeremy Hernandez was grateful the school bus he and dozens of children were in did not get crushed under the falling debris of the bridge.

“If it would have been a second later, any second before, we would have been in the water or under the pavement, because the pavement crushed another car that was in front of us,” he said.5

When you survive a disaster of this magnitude and realize you were only seconds away from being killed, you are filled with a sense of gratitude for every moment that follows.

Hernandez is credited with helping the children on the bus escape to safety. You can be sure that each parent knows their child was saved by grace!

May we understand how fortunate we are, and may that inspire us to do what we can to help others.

If you liked this, you may also like My Destiny | What Does the Bible Say About Your Purpose? 

Rich DuBose writes from Northern California.

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About Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference.

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