Outside intervention

Read: John 3:16-21

One of the best known verses in all of scripture is John 3:16 where it tells us that God “sent” his Son into the world to save us. That intervention into our world has offered us salvation from the sins of this world for those who receive Jesus as their Savior and believe in him.

I ran across a dramatic story that was published in the Reader’s Digest some years ago that reminded me of God’s saving grace for us. It was told like this…..

“Normally the flight from Nassau to Miami took Walter Wyatt, Jr. only sixty-five minutes. But on December 5, 1986, he attempted it after thieves had looted the navigational equipment in his Beech-craft. With only a compass and a hand held radio, Walter flew into skies blackened by storm clouds.

When his compass began to gyrate, Walter concluded he was headed in the wrong direction. He flew his plan below the clouds, hoping to spot something, but soon knew he was lost. He put out a mayday call, which brought a Coast Guard Falcon search plane to lead him to an emergency landing strip only six miles away.

Suddenly Wyatt’s right engine coughed its last and died. The fuel tank had run dry. Around 8 pm Wyatt could do little more than glide the plane into the water. Wyatt survived the crash, but his plan disappeared quickly, leaving him bobbing on the water in a leaky life vest.

With blood on his forehead, Wyatt floated on his back. Suddenly he felt a hard bump against his body. A shark had found him. Wyatt kicked the intruder and wondered if he would survive the night. He managed to stay afloat for the next ten hours.

In the morning, Wyatt saw no airplanes, but in the water a dorsal fin was headed for him again. Twisting, he felt the hide of a shark brush against him. In a moment, two more bull sharks sliced through the water toward him. Again he kicked the sharks, and they veered away, but he was nearing exhaustion.

Then he heard the hum of a distant aircraft. When it was within a half mile, he waved his orange vest. The pilots dropped a smoke canister and radioed the cutter Cape York, which was twelve minutes away; “Get moving, cutter! There’s a shark targeting this guy!”

As the Cape York pulled alongside Wyatt, a Jacob’s ladder was dropped over the side. Wyatt climbed wearily out of the water and onto the ship, where he fell to his knees and kissed the deck.”

Wyatt had been saved! It’s hard to place ourselves in Wyatt’s predicament, but Life often sends many types of challenges at us because of sin and disobedience in our world. The great news for those who believe in Jesus is that he came and intervened in our world to save us. I don’t know if you have been kicking sharks away this week, but I hope you will realize the salvation that Jesus came to bring you. You have been saved from sin, if you will accept it!

“For God so loved the world that he gave (and sent) his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Make it personal: What’s your story? If you were to tell an unbeliever about how Jesus rescued you and saved you from sin and this world, what would you share with them? Think about that and be prepared, because you never know when you might be called upon to be Christ’s messenger of his good news.

Have a safe week everyone,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church