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Salvation is...

Salvation is like this: You're caught up in a fast moving river, in the process of drowning, as the river is hurling you toward a steep waterfall, where you will plummet to your final death, drown, or be dashed against the rocks. Jesus stands on the shore, shouting your name. He extends his arm out to you to grab you. He's the only one who can save you. You are helpless. All you can do is respond, and let him grab you, let him rescue you. He is your hero. Your only hope.

Or you can refuse his help. Try to save your own life from the predicament that awaits you - though you cannot. Ignore his outstretched hand, and decide to go it alone, be your own boss, the king of what's left of your life, the master of nothing but your own destruction.

Or call out for help, let him grab you and save you, let him pull you out, revive you, dry you off, give you new clothes and a new existence. Notice that you contribute absolutely nothing here. He does all the work. All you did was not to refuse his help, but to ask him to rescue you. Because he did everything, he owns you now. You cannot go back into that river. Not ever.

But at times we get thirsty for the wrong thing. Instead of quenching our thirst in the living waters of our Lord and his Spirit, we sometimes thirst for the old river water, for common, dirty water rather than holy water. But he's so far removed us from the old river of destruction and so changed us that we can't really go back to it, to being lost. We cannot lose our salvation. But we still go after common, dirty water elsewhere. Like the Israelites wandering in the desert who longed for the comforts back in Egypt, but they couldn't really go back, only imitate it somehow, like with the golden calf.

Maybe you try to go back to common, dirty water somehow. Maybe you try to drown yourself in your bathtub. Submerge yourself in a swimming pool. Immerse yourself in a mud bath. Play in a quicksand pit. Maybe you stick your head in a toilet. That's how we Christians act oftentimes. But Jesus always pulls you out and knocks some sense into you, and wraps his loving arms around you.

That's what salvation is like.

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