The Rope Was Too Short

In his book entitled, Total Church Life, Darrell Robinson relates the following story: A hurricane hit the Gulf Coast of Texas!  We got the side winds and flooding but missed the full force of it.  The floods subsided by Wednesday night when we gathered for prayer meeting.  Little did we know that just down the street, they were searching Vinces Bayou for the body of a fourteen-year-old boy, Eddie Meek, who had made a profession of faith a month earlier at one of our church’s bus ministry youth services. 

The next morning I sat across from Eddie’s father, Leroy Meek.  He looked like a bum.  His beard was long, his hair was matted, and his eyes were red.  He had been fishing the bayou for his son’s body all night.  Leroy began to tell me his story.

“I am a foreman for a large construction company.  I did not work yesterday because of the flooding.  We have eight children.  I told them not to go outside to play.  But, while I took a nap, three of the boys slipped out and made a raft of Styrofoam material and began to float down the bayou.  The raft broke up.  Two of the boys were able to get out, but Eddie could not get out.  The other two raced home and awakened me.  I jumped into the pickup truck and sped to the bayou.  I tried to reach Eddie, but the concrete sides were steep and the water was rushing and I couldn’t get to him.  He was screaming, “Daddy, help me! Help me, I can’t hold on much longer!”  I ran back to the pickup and grabbed a rope.  Eddie screamed, “Somebody help me! I can’t hold on much longer”’ I threw the rope, but the rope was too short!

As I listened to Leroy, a chill went down my spine.  I choked back the tears as I visualized the scene he described.  It was like God was speaking to me and showing me the multitudes of hurting people near our church.  Like Eddie, they were clinging to whatever they could hold on to.  They were crying, “Help me! Somebody help me! I can’t hold on much longer!”

You are probably wondering why I would choose to share this story in a column that is entitled “An Encouraging Word.”  I am sharing it because of the reality that we live in a world full of people who desperately need to be rescued from their path destruction.  You and I as members of the body of Christ, have experienced this great rescue and it is our scriptural mandate to share that rescue, Jesus Christ, to a lost and dying world.

The hymn writer of old stated it this way: “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.”

One thing is for sure the rope of Jesus is never too short! If individuals will simply reach out in response to His mercy and grace and accept Him by faith, they will experience a rescue that leads to life eternally.   

Thank you Lord Jesus for rescuing me!

In Christ,
Brother Tim