Fresh Hope – 12th September 2017

We recently rented a house for our family holiday. Included in the package was the use of the family clubhouse which had an outdoor pool and lazy river complete with large rubber rings for you to float around on to your heart’s content. At the mouth of the lazy river was a children’s spiralling water flume that deposited you into a small pool.

Apparently, one dad had decided to spice things up a little and show his kids how he could go down the water flume on a rubber ring, not realising that as he approached the bottom, the tubular slide narrowed and he got well and truly stuck just two metres from the end.

With gallons of water gushing behind him, he became like a cork in a bottle. As I was paddling close by with my grandchildren, I was aware of people pointing at the water slide, laughing at the fact that a grown man had got stuck inside, and was frantically trying to get himself free. As much as I wanted to mind my own business, I somehow felt compelled that I should do something to help. I can only say that I felt an overwhelming urgency to pull myself up out of the water and climb into the end of the slide and then crawl the two metres up into the slide to where his feet could be seen poking through the rubber ring.

He was well and truly stuck. Fortunately there was a handle on the rubber tyre that was on my side and after a few moments of tugging, I managed to pull him free. What happened next must have been a sight to behold; as soon as he was released, he took me with him and as many as a dozen children all trapped behind him aswell. With the full force of the water built up behind us, we got spat out of the end of the flume, landing on top of each other in the pool.

I didn’t think too much of it as I picked myself up and carried on paddling. It wasn’t until I overheard one of the children that had been trapped, telling his dad that the water had come up to his neck and felt that he was about to drown inside the slide.
I then realised that my ‘compulsion’ to do something was actually a life saving mission prompted by God. The story that day could have been so different if I had ignored the feeling to act whilst others stood by and laughed.

Everyday of our lives, we are, to some greater or lesser degree, called upon by God to help save lives. We may feel that we should mind our own business or see the request as a non event, but be sure that if you feel ‘moved’ then you must obey. Not only is one person’s life at stake, the greater truth is that several other people’s lives are at stake too.

When I stand on the platform of our church each Sunday, I take very seriously the fact that I am about to help set people free, and not only that, I am about to save a whole host of other people in the process too.

No-one even knew that day that I had bothered to help, as they all thought that they had worked themselves free; but the truth is we can do so much to help people in this life, if we don’t mind who gets the credit.

The next time you sense that you should do something, say something or go somewhere, then simply obey…you never know how many lives you may be saving when you do. What others see as something to laugh at, you may need to take very seriously.

James 5:19-20 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

Pastor Mark

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