|photo courtesy of morguefile.com
I stood still upon the sand, the dogs on either side of me, waiting to see if in fact the Lord had spoken. If He had told me to stay, surely there was a reason. But what could it be? I looked all around me, and didn’t think much of it when the lifeguard called over from where she was perched high atop her lifeguard stand. As much as I love how often God uses the dogs to bring me to people who could use ministering to in some way, I am well versed too in simply holding polite conversation with people who want to know all about the very special wheelchair dogs. That, of course, was what I presumed the lifeguard and I would chat about. The dogs. Then I would steer the dogs to the car and off we would go.
|Paralyzed dogs Mr. Simeon and Miss Mercy – and Mommie
The dogs and I wheeled and walked our way over to the lifeguard stand where I tilted my head upward so I could talk to the lifeguard. It didn’t take more than minutes of idle chatter about the dogs before I understood why God had told me not to leave the beach yet. The lifeguard and I were not intended to meet to talk about dogs. God had brought us together to talk about Him. And in minutes, we were both choked up with tears as she looked down from her lifeguard stand and I looked up from where I stood on the sand, the dogs beside me, as we realized what exactly God had done.
“I really needed some encouragement today,” the lifeguard told me as she shared with me how she writes Bible scriptures every day on her little lifeguard stand chalkboard. She was far away from home for the summer so she could work as a lifeguard, her friends in this far away from home location were few and far between, she missed going to church on Sundays because of her work schedule, and aside from a weekly Bible study with a small group of fellow lifeguards, she must have felt pretty isolated. So God had brought her a friend, a sister in Christ, to encourage her.
We stood talking for a little while before the dogs and I wheeled and walked off to the car, and it wasn’t until I looked back in retrospect that I saw the irony of my encounter with the lifeguard. She, like all the other lifeguards, like lifeguards where I live and like lifeguards everywhere, are clearly hired to help rescue people who are drowning. But this lifeguard had a higher calling. She had been rescued by the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. And just as she writes Bible verses on her little chalkboard every day at her lifeguard stand, the lifeguard is quite obviously grateful most of all not for her temporary summer job looking out over the ocean to see if anyone is drowning, but for looking up to the Lord who sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to the cross to rescue her.
Several days after my encounter with the lifeguard, I went back to the beach with the wheelchair dogs and saw her again. When I went over to her lifeguard stand to say hello to her, she grabbed my hands and prayed for me. She prayed for me and my ministry, and most of all she prayed that God would give me opportunities on the beach that day to share the Gospel and minister to people in need. And she prayed God would soften hearts to be able to receive what He wanted to pour through me.
When I walked away from the lifeguard this time around, I had several opportunities as people wanted to meet the wheelchair dogs to talk about the greatest rescuer of all. The Lord Jesus Christ. As the lifeguard sat high atop her lifeguard stand, and as I wandered around with the dogs waiting to see to whom the Lord might lead me, we both knew in our hearts that helping to rescue drowning people and disabled dogs is absolutely nothing compared with the greatest rescue of all. The rescue of humanity.
Every one of us humans falls short of God’s glory because we are all sinners. We cannot have a relationship with God because we cannot stand in His presence because of His holiness and our unrighteousness. We are all under the curse that began when Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden of Eden because of their sin against God, and that curse ends in death and eternity in hell. But God loves us so much that He came up with a rescue plan. He sent Jesus to the cross to bear our sins and take God’s wrath at us for our sins upon Himself so that if we would repent and believe God raised Him from the dead, we would be forgiven our sins and be able to have a relationship with God now on earth and forever in heaven.
The lifeguard needed to be rescued by God through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ because she is a sinner just like you and I. All of humanity needs to repent and be rescued by believing in Jesus as Lord who died on the cross for us and was buried and raised by God from the dead three days later. All of us.
Are you ready to be rescued?
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14 NASB
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 ESV
If you would like help understanding the Gospel and want to learn more about what to do once you are rescued, please CLICK HERE and feel free to call me at 843-338-2219 or to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.