At the weekend two exhausted survivors were plucked from the devastated wreckage of the Japanese earthquake and lifted into a rescue helicopter, nine days after the Japanese tsunami had hit and destroyed their town. For them, it was an absolute miracle. For the rescue workers it was a pin-prick of joy in their gruesome work of extracting the dead from the wreckage of their community. The corporate despair is intense.
As I watched these two people being lifted to safety, I suddenly realised that this picture of great joy over the ones that had been rescued was not dissimilar to what it must be like for the Father when one of His precious children comes to Him and is lifted to safety from the morass of human rebellion and rejection of Him and His love, through what His Son did for them on the cross.
Headline after headline this past week has only confirmed the picture of a world that is suffering the consequences of tsunami-like devastation. For close on two thousand years the warnings that God has sounded have been largely ignored. The pride of man continues to tell Creator God that he has a better way and ignores the truth of God’s Word!
In a news report on the Libyan situation, one senior general referred to the Security Council of the United Nations as the highest authority there is in this world! This is both a very true and an arrogantly false statement at the same time. Humanly speaking, when the United Nations act together, they are declaring themselves as the ultimate world authority. But they conveniently forget what Jesus said at the end of His time on Earth, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18). I’m so relieved that ultimate authority really is in His hands and not the hands of man!
Most of the people who were fortunate enough to hear the tsunami warnings in Japan, and flee for their lives without turning back for anything, reached the safety of higher ground. But tragically the majority of those who, for whatever reason, chose to ignore the warnings or couldn’t escape from their particular situation, perished as the giant wave annihilated so many communities. It’s dangerous to ignore such warnings.
I am reminded of those poignant words from the book of Hebrews, which ask the question, “How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3). The good news is that there is always hope for those who look to Him – no matter how terrible anyone’s personal situation may be. We don’t need a helicopter to lift us out of the wreckage of life, but we do need to humble ourselves before Him and, as the Scripture says, “He will lift us up” (James 4:10).