When I was a kid, our family went to Watercountry USA in Willamsburg, VA as part of our vacation. It was an amazing place full of incredible water rides. One in particular really got my attention, the wave pool. It looked like a football field of yellow donuts with people popping out where the jelly should have been. People were screaming as the waves threw them around and people were being tossed in every direction.
I had to get in on the fun, so I hijacked an empty tube. Well, by hijacked, I mean I jumped as far as I could to try and reach one. I missed. What had before appeared to be an awesome time turned into terror as the field of happy faced yellow donuts morphed into a suffocating yellow blanket filled with angry, thrashing legs.
Panic set in as I tried to reach the surface, but I could not escape my prison, and my lungs began to burn. It’s crazy, but everything became peaceful, and I felt OK. At that moment, someone pulled me out of the water. I don’t know who, and I don’t know how, but he did.
And I was safe. I was saved. I was coughing a bit, and my lungs still burned, but I was no longer in my desperate, life-threatening situation. And it felt wonderful. I still smile, because I never saw the guy who helped me.
Now I think about the world we live in, and how it too is in a desperate place. It is lost, and searching for some sign of hope; a hand to reach and pull it out of the sea it is drowning in. They are trying to scream for help, but the water muffles their cries and fills their lungs. And I look at my life and see that God wants me to be the hand, He wants me to pull as many out water as I can. And it hurts, because I’m standing at the edge of the pool with my hands in my pockets, thinking of what a great time I am having just being alive.
Church, we need to reach out. There is a world drowning, and we are to be His hands. God, that I would be like C.T. Studd and “…run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.”
(sorry mom and dad, should have told you when it happened, instead of 23 years after the fact)