Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

By Cynthia Shroyer
Pine Bluffs Post staff 

Iron Sharpens Iron

Throw out a life line


A small news item in the Internet caught my eye a while ago. It seems a 12-year-old boy in New Zealand was playing at the waters edge and was swept out to sea. A police officer attempted rescue and got in trouble himself.

Now it would be easy for the rest of the people on the beach to watch and wring their hands and hope someone comes to the aid of the boy and his would-be rescuer. You can hear the conversations — “Oh dear, someone help them!” “His poor mother!” “Did anyone call for help?”

While those are appropriate responses none will do a thing to really help. Someone must be called upon to take action, someone needs to actually take action in order for lives to be saved.

And that is just what happened. Another police officer was on the scene and gave instruction for those on the beach to form a human chain that extended from the safety of the beach to the uncertainty of the waves. And you know what? Both the boy and the police officer were taken from the rough waters. The boy needed resuscitation, and again, no hand-wringing — just someone offering him life-saving breathes of air.

Contrary to many news reports about other such emergencies, this lacked blame on the boy for putting himself in harms’ way. He was just playing. No warnings that he shouldn’t be in or by the water. A wave just came and took him out to sea.

Life is a lot like that. We just do what we need to, take some time for a little R&R, not really looking for trouble, and yet it finds us. A lot. And if there is no one there to rescue us, to offer their life for ours, to take a risk, we may just find ourselves at the bottom of life’s ocean.

Christians make the perfect human chain to get that life-saving work accomplished. We have accepted the hand of a Savior to rescue us from an eternity of separation from God. Our job then is not to stand on the sideline and wring our hands as we watch our friends, loved ones, and even strangers get caught by the waves of life and end up on the wrong side of an eternal chasm. Our job is to extend our lives into others’ so that they can experience rescue too.

All we need to remember is that one person plants a seed and another waters it so that that seed can be harvested. There may not be much you can do for someone in tangible ways — giving someone $20 for groceries or gas or paper and pencils for school, a hug, a ride, help moving, cleaning their house, mowing their lawn. These are not just things to do for fellow believers. These are actions to take to help our fellow earth dwellers. And never, ever discount the power of sending a card. I got an anonymous one once at a time when I was in deep need. It was simple “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it”. I have had that card for a couple years on my desk. I just found out who sent it. It made it all the more special to me that someone saw my need and took that small action, one that may seem insignificant to others, but not to me.

And of course there is the power of prayer. A simple one liner “Jesus, please help Joe” is all that is needed. God has already seen the need even if you don’t know what that need is.

All of us can take action. No one needs to stay on the sidelines wringing their hands impotently.

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17ESV)


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