I recently heard Ray Comfort tell a story. It goes like this You and I are on a plane traveling to New York. We get about half-way there when we hear the pilot's voice over the loud speaker. We can hear fear in his voice. The pilot says, "We've lost the engines and we can't get them started again. The plane is going to crash. There is nothing we can do about it. There's a parachute under your seat."
We both look under our seats. We see that the parachute is there. We believe that the parachute is there.
The plane descends to about 10,000 feet. The pilot instructs the flight attendants to open the doors, and then he orders everyone to jump for their lives. I put my parachute on and jump out of the plane. You don't put your parachute on, and you jump out of the plane. Who survives the fall?
"You do." Is typically the answer I receive.
"Because you put on the parachute."
"But we both believed in it." I allow the person to stew on that for a moment, and then I explain the analogy.
"It wasn't enough to simply believe in the parachute. You had to put it on and trust that it would open and save your life when you jump out of the plane. The same is true with Jesus Christ. It is not enough to simply have an intellectual belief in or agreement with Jesus. The demons believe and they tremble. You must put on the Lord Jesus Christ and, by faith, trust Him to save you the same way you would trust a parachute."
I really love this analogy. I have made the decision to trust Jesus as my Savior a number of years ago. I have learned to not only trust in Him to save me from hell, but to put my trust in Him for everyday things as well. I admit this wasn't always the case. At first, I trusted Him for my salvation, but when it came to everyday worries, I had a tendency freak out over things that don't matter. How silly! When you can trust the Lord for something as important as your eternal destination, He is certainly trustworthy of the small things.
Sometimes I forget to leave my troubles with Him, and it makes me anxious and grumpy. And He gently draws me back in and I think of this verse: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7.
Tonight, I watched as a young man gave his life to Christ. He has been in trouble with the law, even spending time in juvenile detention centers. He came to church looking for a youth group. While he was there, he realized that he was a sinner, and needed a Savior. He repented of his sins and turned to Jesus. He jumped out of that plane and put his full weight on Jesus. In our world, we use the word awesome for a lot of things. But witnessing that was a truly awesome thing. As we get closer to the day we call Good Friday, let's consider the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. He has provided a parachute for you. Will you put it on?