Monday, August 08, 2011

Recognizing The Sacrifice

Recently I had a rather scary experience. I had canoed out to one of my favourite spots at my aunts cottage and found two dogs on the beach. Before long one of them swam out into the lake and started playing with a buoy in the water. I guess his mistook the buoy for a toy and tried to pull it towards shore. Since the buoy was anchored he couldn't move it and was using up his energy trying to move something that couldn't be moved. Seeing that he was starting to struggle in the water I tried to call him to shore, but he wouldn't come and at the same time was struggling to stay afloat, so I did the only thing I thought I could do- I jumped in the water and swam out to where he was.

There I tried to coax him to let go of the buoy but he was panicking and wouldn't let it go. Then I tried to pull him towards shore but he had no collar on so I couldn't get any leverage. I yelled for help but his owners were no where to be found. So after struggling with the dog in the water to no avail I swam to shore and ran up to the nearest cottage to get help. When I got there I found the people who turned out to be his owners I explained in no uncertain terms that their dog was in trouble and needed their help.

Thankfully while this was happening, the dog had come to his senses and released the buoy and I think with the assistance of the other dog, had made it to shore. But these people were not thankful. Anything but. Instead of thanking me for risking myself to save their dog, they were irritated and one of them actually blamed me for the incident. Like I had thrown his dog in the lake or something.

As I canoed back to the cottage I couldn't help but be appalled at their attitude. I mean here I went and put myself in jeopardy for their pet and instead of giving even a thank you, they went so far as to get mad at me for the situation. I admit, I was getting a little self-righteous when God reminded me that this situation is not unique and something He faces on a daily basis.

Just think about it. Jesus came to this earth and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. He actually went the distance and allowed His life to be traded for ours. And instead of accepting His gift and thanking Him for it, the majority of people out there mock His sacrifice in their refusal to accept it. Then if that wasn't bad enough, when life doesn't go their way they actually step out and blame Him for their problems.

And I can say that with certainty because before I finally surrendered at the age of 16 I was one of them.

1 John 4, verses 9 and 10 tell us:

"God showed how much he loved us by sending His only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." (1 John 4:9-10)

That was no small sacrifice. Imagine what it took for the Son of God to give up the riches of heaven and the power of a creator and instead confine Himself to a human body, rubbing shoulders with sinners and making a sacrifice that by far is not accepted or appreciated by most?

If you're a Christian like myself we have accepted the sacrifice of His payment for our sins, but if you're anything like me, in time it's easy to forget just what a gift that is. So let this be our reminder to daily go before God and thank Him for what He's done and then honour His sacrifice by how we live.

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