by Nancy Grisham
The beauty that brings so many people to Colorado is also what draws people into its danger. As a result, we have more than our share of search-and-rescue missions. I wonder what kind of women and men risk their lives to go on those missions.
I also wonder about the person they’re sent to reach. The day probably started out like an ordinary day in the mountains. I’m guessing that exhilaration filled his or her senses and ruled the moment. But at some point he or she took a dive down a bluff, made a wrong turn to nowhere, skied out of bounds, or tumbled into white water. Then suddenly danger hammered them into helplessness.
Search-and-rescue teams risk their lives to reach that one person.
The spiritual analogies abound in this scenario. Like all analogies, they can only take us so far into the story. However, I want to focus on three things that personally relate to us – the need, the mission, and the result.
As much as we may sometimes wish this truth wasn’t true, the Bible is clear: Every accountable person who is without Christ is hopelessly, helplessly, spiritually lost.
This is a very uncomfortable truth for many people. It’s a hard-edged truth. However, lostness doesn’t change with trends, culture, or political correctness. It only changes with Jesus.
Without Christ, all hope is lost. With Him, all hope is found.
I once heard Dallas Willard speak on mission. Willard said, “Our mission is God.” I remember silently questioning that statement.
However, he was reminding us that seeking God is to always be our first focus. Everything else in our lives comes from that relationship. When we are rightly aligned with God, His life flows into us, out of us, and naturally to the people around us.
The intimate union that Jesus had with the Father ordered every moment of His life. He was totally reliant upon God. Even to the point of saying He could only do what He heard the Father say to do. Within that dependence, He defined His search-and-rescue mission, For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).
Before leaving earth, Jesus turned to His disciples – to you and me – and said…As the Father has sent me, I am sending you (John 20:21).
When our main mission is God, the natural flow of our lives is reaching out to people who need Christ. Only then can we love them enough to take risks and talk with them about Jesus.
When we are cooperating with the Spirit, it is easy to go to people because we know we have been sent.
In a search-and-rescue mission there are only two outcomes – rescue or recovery. Only one brings a celebration. Only one results in a reunion with loved ones.
On the ultimate Celebration Day, you and I will be so thankful that Jesus sent someone to tell us about Himself. And we will be so glad that they obeyed Him.
It makes me wonder about you and me.
Who are the people we are sent to?
Where are they in our lives right now?
In what ways are we reaching out to them and talking about Jesus?
Whoever they are, I hope on that Celebration Day that we can look at them with a twinkle in our eye and say, “I got there as fast as I could!”
Nancy Grisham (@nancygrisham) is a speaker and founder of Livin’ Ignited. She is author of Thriving: Trusting God for Life to the Fullest, has frequently taught at Willow Creek Community Church mid-week classes and served as the evangelism pastor in a church of 6,500 people led by Stuart Briscoe.