What happens in life when there’s no way out.
by Trey Graham
Have you ever gotten lost? Have you ever felt abandoned in a strange place where you didn’t seem to know the language? Have you ever needed to be rescued?
When United States Air Force F-16 pilot Captain Scott O’Grady was shot down over Bosnia-Herzegovina on June 2, 1995, he needed to be rescued. He hid for six days in the wilderness in hostile territory, with very few supplies and only a 9 mm pistol. Wearing a cross on a chain around his neck, O’Grady hid from potential captors, moving only under the cover of darkness. In order to survive, he ate ants and drank rain water, waiting for someone to come get him.
Despite all his training and heroism, O’Grady could not escape by himself and would not live without help from outside. It took 43 U.S. Marines in four jet airplanes and four helicopters, plus nearly 40 other aircraft, to rescue him. All these American soldiers and equipment were dedicated to the sole purpose of rescuing one lost American pilot.
Spiritually, no matter how smart you are or how well-organized and clever, you need a rescuer. You cannot escape the death sentence caused by our innate sinfulness unless you have Someone from the outside who will come and save your life. The Marines who rescued the downed pilot were free, so they could commit themselves to saving the one who was lost. When we consider our relationship with God, we must remember that our only rescuer, the only one qualified for the job, is God’s Son Jesus Christ.
If you boil down the Christian life to its most basic level and remove the traditions and rituals, you find that the only way to know God personally is to be rescued. All of us are lost in sin and fear and doubt and pain and need Someone to find us and take us home. That rescuer is not found in my good works or your good ideas or someone else’s good intentions. Our only rescuer is Jesus Christ.
After his rescue, O’Grady thanked his Marine rescuers over and over. He knew that without their help, he would have died in Bosnia and been lost forever. Scott O’Grady never lost faith in his comrades, always believing that they would search for him and attempt to rescue him.
Likewise, as we live in the midst of spiritual danger, we need to constantly express our gratitude to God the Father for willingly sending His Son Jesus Christ to be our rescuer.
As O’Grady got off the airplane after his flight home, his father saw his son for the first time since he was shot down. So happy to see him alive, Dr. O’Grady stated that it was as if his son had been born again. This earthly father knew that some dedicated and skillful outsiders joined to give his earthly son a new chance at life.
Have you been born again? Have you been rescued by the only One who can save us for eternity, Jesus Christ? We have the privilege of beginning our lives again, of being rescued by God the Son and returned home to God the Father. It is time to come home, so allow yourself to be rescued by Jesus today.
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