I have been pondering salvation by faith alone. Is it really ALL God’s work? Don’t we have to do something? Yet, I know I cannot save myself. If God wants everyone to be saved then why aren’t they? How do I help my children comprehend God’s gift of salvation.
Here is a visual that we are using until we gain more understanding:
I am floating around the middle of the ocean in a life raft. Each day I row, row, row my boat thinking I am making progress. Yet, as the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months, I start to feel hopeless, like my efforts are getting me nowhere.
On one of those meaningless days, I hear a wind blowing in the distance; I look and look but I can’t recognize what is coming. As it gets closer I see it is a helicopter, but I don’t know who is driving the copter.
Before I know it, a rope ladder is hanging down for me to climb. I cannot save myself, yet, I have a choice. Do I keep doing what I have been doing and believe I will find safety eventually? Or do I stay in the “safety” of what I know, because if I get in the helicopter they are going to tell me what to do, I don’t want to be stuck under a bunch of rules.
So, when I resist climbing the ladder and shoo the helicopter away, I momentarily feel empowered. I think I am in control of my own life and I enjoy rowing my boat. It isn’t long though before the emptiness returns. I find a few deserted islands along the way, only to realize they won’t get me any closer to the home I desire, so I get back in my known boat. Perhaps another helicopter will come along, but if it does, the choice is the same.
If I respond to the ladder by climbing it, I am forever grateful to be saved from the lost life I was leading. Never do I say, “I saved myself”, because I had no power to save myself, I was completely dependent on the helicopter rescuing me from my helpless situation.
Once on the helicopter, I still have no control over the trip to “safety”. It might be long, it might be short. It might be smooth, it might have turbulence. Along the way I may see several deserted islands that I could demand to be dropped off at. But, as long as I stay in the helicopter, I will eventually make it to my long awaited home.