It was a perfect beach day in Grand Barachois, New Brunswick. The sky was clear, the sun bright, and the waters of the Northumberland Strait were warm and inviting. The friends we were visiting live just a few minutes’ walk from the beach, and when the decision was made to continue our visit at the water’s edge, we received absolutely no resistance from either of our boys or from our friend’s grandson! They immediately disappeared down the road. They had been instructed to not go in the water without adult supervision, and when we arrived just a few minutes later with the towels, chairs and sand toys, we were met with three impatient voices: “What took you guys so long?”
At first the boys had fun catching small crabs and watching them move around in the sand forts that they quickly constructed for that purpose. Next they amused themselves by chasing one another around the sand and through the water, and then they finally settled down to serious sandcastle building.
The boys had gone back into the water for a swim when the little toy boat that my son had left in the “harbor” he had built onto his sandcastle became attracted by an irresistible current. When we finally noticed it taking off all alone on its daring adventure, it was already headed out for the open sea.
“Boys,” called my wife. “Is that your boat?”
“Your orange one.”
“That one that’s headed out to sea!” she explained, pointing way out into the water where an orange dot was just barely visible.
My oldest son jumped into the water. “I can get it!” he called.
Being an experienced swimmer, we had no doubts that he would be able to reach the boat. Our friend wasn’t so sure. Judging by the speed at which the orange dot was disappearing, she warned us that it was likely caught up in a heavy current, and that our son would likely get caught up in the current as well.
Since she is a native to the region and we are not, we took her word seriously and called off the rescue party. Better to lose a boat than to lose a precious life. My kids were disappointed, however, and it was with grim faces that they watched their toy growing smaller and smaller on the horizon. “I hope it will reach PEI,” stated my youngest son. “Maybe some boy who doesn’t have a toy boat will find it!”
That was the last of the boat discussion, and I proceeded to completely forget about the entire incident. Until I was in church last week, that is, when God brought it vividly back to my mind. The key text to the pastor’s sermon was found in Heb 2:1: “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”
We hadn’t been paying attention to that orange boat when it floated away. In just the same manner, we don’t always pay heed to our own spiritual lives. Distractions compete for our attention, and too often we find ourselves caught up in a current that we can’t break out of. Habits are formed, and before we know it we are slaves to addictive fascinations. Our former passion, Jesus, becomes replaced by worldly attractions. The current is strong, and no attempt to break free from its grasp is successful. We are left to wonder if there is any way out.
Good news, my friends! Someone DID come to our rescue, and that Someone was Jesus. Though this rescue mission cost Him His life, He gladly gave it up, for He sees us as well worth the sacrifice. Through His death, He succeeded in defeating our vicious sin-filled habits. And the best news is that Jesus is not just a hero who lived a long time ago. He was brought back to life by God’s Spirit and is alive even today. He would like nothing better than to set us completely free. He wants to pour out His love upon us. He wants us to be His friends. “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 5:20 NIV); “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Gal 5:1 1 NIV); and “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Heb 2:14-15 NIV)
Just like my son’s orange plastic boat, your ship may be way out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. You may be filled with hopelessness. Your cry may be: “There’s no way out of this! No one cares for me!” However if you take the time to look around, you will notice that Someone IS trying to reach you. He can’t help you if you refuse His help, but safety, freedom and peace are guaranteed and are yours for the taking. Will you let Jesus your Saviour reach you?