Humpback Whale Rescued from a Web of Entanglement
December 4, 2005, an article appeared on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle. A female humpback whale had become entangled in a web of crab traps and fishing lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth.
A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed for help. Within a few hours the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. The team of rescuers worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.
Once she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and gently nudged them as if she was thanking them.
Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The diver who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time. It was life-changing. He said he will never be the same.
This July, I experienced a rescue mission on a much larger scale. It was life-changing with transformation that matters both now in this moment, for future generations and for eternity! I’m talking about Summit’s Trip to Grace Orphanage. I speak for myself and the rest of our Haiti Team, “We will never be the same!”
God is in the Business of Rescue Missions.
What is weighting you down? Are you at a place in your life where you need to be rescued? Are you ready to call out for help? It doesn’t take a special phone or huge SOS bonfire. All you have to do is ask and Jesus will rescue you. You can ask him to rescue you in any area of your life – a relationship, a financial situation, a health issue, anything. But you have to ask.
In Psalm 91, God says, “When you call on me, I will answer; I will be with you in your trouble and I will rescue you” (v. 15 NLT). That’s not just talk, because God doesn’t lie. He can’t lie. It’s contrary to his character because he is total truth.
Notice that God says you have to do your part and then he’ll do his part. You call, he answers. That’s it. Just call on the name of the Jesus.
It’s very important to understand that in any rescue operation, the rescuer gets to determine means and method of the rescue. You don’t get to determine how you are saved. It’s not up to you; it’s up to your Savior. And Jesus says, “I am the way…. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NIV).
Jesus doesn’t say he’s a good way, or a nice way, or even the best way. He says, “I’m it.” If there was a plan B, God wouldn’t have sent plan A to earth to die for you. So if you’re going to be saved and have all your sins forgiven, there’s only one way it will happen, and there’s only one person you can call on… Jesus.
When Jesus saves us, rescues us, he immediately adopts us into His family. He calls us His children. 1 John 3:1
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Eph. 1:5 (NLT)
God rescues us through Jesus Christ, He adopts us, and He gives us a huge capacity to love others… because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Children are important to God. Absolutely! When Jesus’ disciples saw children as a nuisance to be avoided, Jesus saw them as a treasure to be welcomed, to be received, to be loved and cherished. Matthew 19:13-15 when children were brought to Jesus, the disciples rebuked the people. But Jesus said,
“Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Not long after that, Jesus gave us a clear commission:
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”. Matthew 28:19 NLT
The Great Commission is very clear. Definitively not a call to sit back and stay silent in a world of sin, evil, and suffering. No!
God calls us to engage a broken world with the Good News of Jesus.
And when we do, 2 transformations take place.
- Spiritual Transformation ~ When men, women and are children are rescued, they are moved from blindness to light–spiritual death to spiritual life–everything changes.
Hope found in Jesus brings transformation!
This is where we come in. God asks us to partner with Him on His Rescue Missions
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15 NIV
Summit Church believes God has uniquely designed and equipped His church to care for children and their mothers.
James 1:27 NLT says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”
- Social Transformation ~ Obedience to the Great Commission, (the fruit of faithful disciple-making–the salvation of souls) has inevitable transformation on people’s lives and families and communities. We can’t keep this Good News to ourselves.
Reach. Raise. Release. God does not call us to sit in one location. The vision for Summit Church is to GO! Release! God commands every one of us to go, baptize, and make disciples in all the nations… this includes 3rd World countries, impoverished communities, abandoned orphans, lonely widows. And this includes Haiti.
Why Haiti? Haiti is a beautiful country with beautiful people… but many needs.
- 59% of Haitians live on less than US$2 per day
- Another 24.7% live on less than US$1.25 per day
- 50% of Haiti’s children do not attend school
- Of those that do: 30% don’t make it to 3rd grade and 60% drop out before the 6th grade
- Let’s talk nutrition: 1/5 children die before the age of 5.
- 22% have moderate to severe stunted growth
Those are a few of the hard cold facts. But it is not about the facts. It is a matter of the heart.
“We learned that:
Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.
Orphans are easier to ignore before you see their faces.
It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms.
But once you do, everything changes.”
Radical ~ David Platt
Monday I heard my 20 year old son cry out during group prayer:
With a God as good as You, we can’t keep You to ourselves!
Nathan’s life will never be the same.
Yesterday I dropped Nathan off at the airport… he and a friend are headed to Columbia to share the Good News of Jesus Christ… He is taking God’s Rescue Mission to the Amazon.
What about you? Who will you tell?