Yesterday, the Big Thompson River, in Colorado, was ripping away lower portions of her house as a woman stood, helplessly, watching rescue workers assemble on the far side. She was stranded. There used to be a bridge, connecting her to the highway but it was submerged, and being disassembled by the angry waters. It’s worth watching the You Tube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b43XEfPXy6c . It shows a zip line being set up across the river. When all is ready, the woman is strapped in and hangs on as they drag her over (and a bit through) the torrential flow to safety. She’s scared, she’s wet and bruised, but she’s alive.
Question: What was her part in the rescue? Accepting it and hanging on, right? There’s a picture there of what it means to say that Jesus is the “Author and Perfecter” of our faith (Hebrews 12:2a) If you haven’t read that verse, check out “Keep the Faith – Part 4“. It is important to understand that Jesus reaches out to rescue us, that He is the One to set up the “zip line,” so to speak. Our part is to accept His rescue and to hang on. The woman had to trust her rescuers to strap her in and then to hang on. But what she was hanging onto was the equipment that they brought in, that they provided. Jesus brings faith to us and says, “Trust Me; Hang on.”
He gives us the faith and it is by that faith, that we hang on! Admittedly, that is hard to understand. Religion teaches that we must provide the effort, that we must do enough to rescue ourselves. But religion does not work. Like the woman on the far side of the river, there is no way we could do enough to affect our own rescue. That is why Jesus showed up and brought us what we need.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – (Ephesians 2:8
The woman who was held by and who held on to the river zip line was ultimately given more days to live. If you trust Jesus, if you are held by and hang on to His zip line, what can you expect on the other side of the river? It is eternal life, an intimate connection to God through His Holy Spirit.
Let’s begin a closer look at the Holy Spirit. Stay tuned. And by the way, please pray for us out here in Colorado. Over a foot of rain has fallen in some places near here and the devastation from the flooding is unprecedented.