Last night we had the opportunity to hear Steve Green in concert. It was a great event filled with powerful music. Not only does he possess an incredibly strong and disciplined voice, but the message of each song was so clear and compelling. (By the way, his a capella presentation of “A Mighty Fortress” was worth the price of a ticket.)

Throughout the evening, he spoke about the blessings of our salvation, the fullness of God’s grace, and the hope of the resurrection. Each topic was an encouragement and a challenge for daily living. Several times when speaking about salvation, he used a significant term – rescued. Saved, redeemed, reborn, delivered…all are descriptive of the work that God has done in the lives of those who are His own. Yet, there is something very striking about the concept of our rescue.

I quickly thought of Air Station Clearwater just down the road. Almost every day I look up to see a thundering C-130 or a HH-60 helicopter heading west from the largest and busiest Air Station in the US Coast Guard. Frequently, we watch the evening news with a report of boaters rescued from the waters of the Gulf.

Can you imagine the experience of being capsized and lost at sea? The waters increasingly chill your body’s temperature. The waves seem to grow taller with each passing minute. Your muscles fatigue, begin to ache, and soon cease to function. You realize there is nothing you can do to keep your head above water. The end is near and certain.

Suddenly in the distance you hear the chopping sound from the blades of a Jayhawk helicopter. From it you can see a cable with a rescue swimmer descending to your position. He speaks words of assurance as he secures a lifeline around you. Steadily you are lifted up out of the stormy waters into the security of the waiting helicopter. As the craft lands and you step out onto solid ground you take in the magnitude of what has just happened. Your life has been wonderfully saved. You have been rescued.

The psalmist never envisioned a helicopter, but described our spiritual rescue with compelling terms.

“He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. [17] He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.”
Psalm 18:16-17

More than from just earthly enemies, the Lord has rescued us from our spiritual adversary. When Christ died, He broke the bonds of sin and freed us from the clutches of Satan himself. He lifted us up from our miserable condition and placed us in a sure place.

Often the one rescued returns to the Air Station to meet the crew that carried out the rescue. With a heart overflowing with gratitude, he realizes all he can do is say “thank you.” No repayment is possible, because none could ever measure up to the gift of a lived saved from sure destruction.

How can we ever cease to praise the One who has truly rescued us? What a powerful message God’s children have to share with those around us!