Imagine you are on a ship. It’s large and luxurious, plush and full of elegance and beauty. You are very safe, very comfortable. You feel confident here.
Now, imagine someone comes to you and says, “This ship is on fire! You need to get off!”
There are so many features on board to protect the passengers, you think. I haven’t heard any sort of alarm. No one else seems concerned. I’m sure this person is crazy. You shoo the person away.
The person comes back an hour later, eyes full of concern, and says, “The fire is spreading. You need to get off this ship! Come with me!”
You resist. Why should I run? you think. I hear no alarm. I don’t feel any heat. I don’t see anyone else I know running. This person is foolish. Again, you dismiss the person.
For a third time, the person comes back and pleads with you, “I know you don’t understand. Just let me show you. I can help you!”
You're irritated. “Look,” you say firmly, “leave me alone. I am fine where I’m at. I don’t need to do anything. I am perfectly safe. Please go away!”
With a sad, downhearted expression, the person walks away and softly whispers, “the choice is yours."
About thirty minutes later, you feel a large explosion rock the ship. Terror sweeps over you, temporarily paralyzing you in fear. Another large explosion bursts, much closer this time, so close you are knocked over and your ears are pierced with a loud ringing. Black, acrid smoke begins wafting in under your cabin door.
There is another explosion, only you don’t know it because at this point the ship, you, and everything around you is now gone.
Jesus comes for each of us. Only He doesn’t come to tell us a ship is going to burn; He tells us this world isn’t what we should build our hope in for it will be destroyed. He is giving us every opportunity to reach for life, one characterized by faith, hope and love. He makes clear He is the one true guide, the only right path to escape the calamity of this world.
But we’re comfortable. We argue. We doubt His motives. We disagree about the path to take. We think we know better, that what Jesus asks is too hard, to antiquated, too radical. We’ve been hurt by others trying to lead us somewhere but it was just another dead-end.
Jesus has sacrificed literally everything, including His very life, to show His actions come from a place of deep love for each one of us. We wonder why the world is such a mess and forget, “the Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost” (2 Peter 3:9 CEV). God’s heart is FOR each of us! His patience comes from a place of mercy.
It doesn’t take a lot of brilliance to realize this is a broken world full of broken people. In the midst of the fear and the noise clamoring all around, I’m asking you to simply listen for His voice. He is calling for you. Can you hear it? He is whispering with words of lovingkindness from a heart that wants to save you, to give you so much more than the status quo.
“Behold, I stand at the door and continually knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him (restore him), and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20 AMP). Jesus is calling for you. He wants to restore you, to give you so much more. Today and every day, slow down enough to listen and respond.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT Have you ever thought of God as being sort of “mean” for judging the world? Or wondered how a loving God could destroy people? Think of the boat analogy again. If Jesus is the person trying to warn you, and God sent the Son specifically to rescue everyone, then who is at fault should we decide not to listen? The one who is asking to save you, or you if you refuse to do so?
Remember, God’s heart is FOR you, not against you. Don’t be afraid of what is to come—persecution, hardship, riots, Covid-19 or anything else. Instead, grab a hold of your life line—Jesus Christ—and begin experiencing the life He promises in Mark 10:29-30:
You can be sure that anyone who gives up home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or land for me and for the good news will be rewarded. In this world they will be given a hundred times as many houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and pieces of land, though they will also be mistreated. And in the world to come, they will have eternal life.
God doesn’t promise an easy life, but rather a rewarding one. This world is not our home, and the way they live is not the way we live. Reach out for your loving Father’s hand, and never forget that, “the world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17 NIV). Make that daily decision to keep walking forward in faith toward eternity.
PRAYER How good you are, Papa, not wanting any of us to perish. You hate the evil and wickedness in this world, yet you are so patient, allowing each of us the chance to be saved. Would you continue to empower me to listen for your voice so that I, too, may inherit peace, blessing, glory and eternal life, to eat with You at Your table and celebrate an existence where there are no tears, no sorrows, but only joy and peace. I long for that day, Papa! Strengthen me to reach for your hand no matter what the world is saying around me, so that I may make it to Your safe pasture. I love You and praise Your holy name. Amen.
To learn more about author & motivational speaker Barb Lownsbury or to have her speak at your next event, CLICK HERE.