"There is one body and one Spirit....one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all"
Ephesians 4:4-6 (ESV)
The Risk of Turning Away.
For he says, "In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2Cor. 6:2
We have a cat named "Schmit." It's a weird name for a female cat, I know, but it just kind of evolved into that. Anyway, the other night before we went to bed, I went to the back patio door and called for Schmit. Because it was a nice day, she had been outside and it was time for her to come in for the night. I saw her come running from our big metal shop at full gallop as though she was excited to be heading inside for the evening. But, just as she got to the door, she pulled up short and stopped. She stepped a little closer and rubbed her head on the door frame, but never came in. I kept calling her and coaxing her, but she just walked back down the step and turned and looked at me with an independent squint like, "Nah. I don't want to." I called her name a few more times, but she just walked under our patio table and sat there. I said, "Alright then. Your choice," and shut and locked the door.
What Schmit didn't know, that I did, was that there was a big storm coming. That is why I was trying so hard to get her to come in. And, about 2am, the lightning started flashingl, and the thunder started booming, and winds got pretty strong, and the rain started falling. It was loud inside the house, so I can imagine how loud it was outside! The rain was not just coming down, it was being blown sideways. The storm lasted a few hours, but had pretty well subsided by the time I got up (6am).
I walked to back patio door and found Schmit sitting there pretty soaked and unhappy. She was meowing and wanting in really bad now. I can imagine that she didn't have night that she thought she would, and she let me know her displeasure as she trotted past me to her food bowl. But, her dilemma was caused by her choice to NOT come in the open door that was available to her several hours before. Nothing was holding her back, nothing was blocking her way, and she knew that inside there was a soft dry place to sleep. Still, for whatever reason, she chose to stay out.
That made me think about how God's offer of salvation through faith in Christ is available to all of us. Jesus provides us with an "open door" that will rescue us from coming stormy night. The Father is calling with concern and love. But, we have to choose to enter. It is tragic that so many people hear the call, and get right to the edge, but decide that, no, they'll stay on the outside and enjoy the thrill of being "free." What they don't know, that Jesus does, is that there is a storm coming. And, it is a storm that will be unlike anything we have ever known. God will bring holy judgment on the world, and on those who have rejected His offer of salvation through the cross. And there will be no morning, where, after weathering the storm, you can change your mind. If you fail to walk through the door, it will be a decision that costs you so much more than you could ever imagine.
Jesus gave His life to make the way of salvation possible for you. You don't have to go through the storm. You can choose to enter through the door and find rest - not just for the night, but for all eternity. Trust in Jesus' love and grace. The door is open, and the Father is calling. Will you come? If you never have, do so today!