COLUMN: Want to know God? A tragic metaphor in Destin

Jay Wolf, courtesy of
Jay Wolf

Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”— (Rom. 10:13).

I was fishing on the jetties near the bridge that connects Destin to Fort Walton Beach. The afternoon winds gusted strong and the fish refused my hook-filled offerings.

Suddenly my attention focused on a boat about 300 yards from me. I saw a man hurl an orange life-ring into the water to rescue a swimmer. A few minutes later, a Coast Guard boat with divers raced to the same spot. After nearly 15 minutes, the divers emerged with a limp body. 

God prompted me to play the role of a chaplain so I met the family of the deceased man. Evidently two friends were swimming when a dangerous undertow grabbed them and began to pull them downward. One man cried out for help and was rescued. The other tried to swim away from the danger and save himself.

One was saved and the other lost.

Witnessing that dramatic and terrible drowning at Destin reminds me of the desperate condition of all of humanity.

God declares that we are in trouble. We are spiritually drowning. We desperately need His rescuing assistance. God’s Word clearly states that “all have sinned, and the wage of our sin is death.” However Jesus — the gracious Rescuer — responds to a sinner’s cry of repentance and He comes to our aid. The Scripture explains: While the “wage of our sin is death, the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” — (Rom. 6:23).

C.S. Lewis observed that there is only one place where you will not find God — and that is where He is not invited.

He further noted, “God is not a burglar who breaks into your life. He is a gentleman who responds to your invitation.” So the ball is in your court. Jesus the Rescuer stands ready, willing and able to pull you into His ark of salvation. You must ask for His rescuing help. “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

With childlike faith, call out to Jesus in prayer, and He will extract you from sin’s suffocating bondage and give you His incomparable gift of eternal life.

Pastor Jay Wolf is the senior pastor at FirstBaptist Church in Montgomery.