IN CASE OF EMERGENCY Andy Hollifield 10-10-17
Matthew 14:28-31 (28) And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. (29) And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. (30) But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying Lord, save me. (31) And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught, him and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt.
Mark 4:36-40 (36) And when he had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. (37) And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. (38) And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? (39) And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (40) And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Have you ever wondered just how you would react in an emergency? Would you be calm and methodical and composed until it was over or would you panic prematurely and call for help? There are times when there is no time to call for help and immediate action is required. The day we brought Tyler home from the hospital, I stayed home and kept him that evening so Diane could get out of the house for a few minutes. He was laying on my shoulder and arm asleep. All at once, I felt his body tighten up and I wheeled him around and seen that he was choking. I immediately flipped him upside down between my legs and did a finger sweep with my little finger just like they had shown us in the infant/child CPR class we had taken before he was born. I warned Diane about it and it happened several times before we got him back to the doctor the next day. It was determined that he had reflux that was coming up and blocking his airway. He was placed on an apnea monitor for about 2 months. When that alarm went off, I would have him in my arms before I was even awake. I’m not entirely sure, apart from the grace of God, how that was possible. The point of me telling that was not to build myself up but to illustrate the point that there isn’t always time to wait for help. If we had not of known what to do and done it ourselves, there would have been several occasions where Tyler could have died.
As you probably noticed, both of the passages above were those kind of situations. The story of Peter walking on the water was one exactly like Tyler stopping breathing. There was no time to call for backup. In the second case where Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat, there was a little more time but they felt they were likely going to die. Keep in mind that several of these men made their living as fishermen and they had probably been through many storms so they weren’t easily scared. For them to be that scared, it must have been a ferocious storm. In this case, they were about to perish. In the case of Peter, he was perishing and needed help right then, not in a few minutes.
We see signs everywhere that say; “in case of emergency, break glass”. Others say to pull the fire alarm. The important thing to notice when you see those signs, is that there is always something there to help you in your time of need for your particular situation. Still other signs tell us where to go in the event of a fire. Most multi-story buildings have signs that read, “use the stairs in case of fire”. Most businesses have an evacuation plan with specific routes out of the building to a specific spot where everyone is to meet so that they all can be accounted for in the event of an emergency.
That brings me around to what I really want to discuss; that is our spiritual emergency plan. What are we going to do spiritually in response to an emergency? We may not have to break glass during a spiritual emergency but we better have some tools in reserve and ready to be used on a second’s notice. What kind of shape would Tyler have been in if Diane and I hadn’t of taken that class and knew what to do? The outcome would not have been good. There was no time to call anyone to ask what we needed to do and no time to wait for someone else to come and do it. Diane and I had taken that class in preparation for an emergency but figuring it would prove to be useless information. Unfortunately, we live in a time when even Christians are doing nothing to prepare for a time when a crisis will arise. We always figure that if anything comes up, we’ll just call the preacher or someone else and they can pray or tell us what to do. Sometimes, just as in Peter’s case and also in Tyler’s, there wasn’t the luxury of time. It came down to the person there had to know what to do. The best thing we can do is to call on Jesus immediately and he will save us just as he did Peter.
The next thing to do in case of emergency is to sound the alarm. We as Christians are supposed to be sounding the alarm now to alert lost folks to the fact that Jesus is soon coming and that they are in danger of fire if they stay where they are. It is our job to tell them and also show them where the evacuation route is. As Christians, we have already traveled the same route to escape the fire. No matter where you may be in a building, every route leads to the same place; the door. Spiritually speaking, no matter what route, denomination, or doctrine you may have, they all better lead to one place; the door. If you don’t go through the door you will never be able to get outside to safety. Once outside, you now have access to the good things such as fresh air and water, a supply of food that hasn’t burnt up and can never be destroyed, and the fellowship and comfort of others that came through the door and escaped the fire. The door will one day no longer be open and those caught inside having never escaped will perish in the fire even though there were plenty of routes to the door. Jesus said in John 10:9 that he is the door by which we make it to our meeting place. He also said in verse 11 that he is the good shepherd. Do you know what the shepherd does? He leads his sheep to good pasture, water, and makes them dwell in peace and safety. Jesus will lead us to safety if we just follow him.
What about that specific spot we are going to meet at? That’s easy; it’s heaven. He said those that he helped to escape the fire will meet there with everyone else that has already made it out of the fire. There is no other meeting place for survivors. Just as we did with the CPR class, we had gotten prepared in case of emergency. If you are going to escape the fire, you will have to be born again to be prepared to make it to the meeting place. If you are not prepared, there is only one option left and if you go there, there will be no escaping the fire then and you will never be able to survive but will continually die forever. What are you going to do “in case of an emergency?” Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!