Don’t Treat God’s Call as Spam
In October 2021, the Lake County (Colorado) Search and Rescue (LCSAR) posted a statement on its Facebook page for on or around Mount Elbert. “If you’re lost, someone is trying to find you. So, please, cooperate with them.”
At 14,440 feet in elevation, Mount Elbert is the highest summit in Colorado and in the Rocky Mountains. It’s also the second highest peak in the contiguous United States. Only Mount Whitney, California is higher.
The post explained that on October 18, 2021, LCSAR received word that a hiker on Mount Elbert was lost. The anonymous hiker signed the trail register at 9AM that morning and was expected back at 8PM. At 10PM LCSAR initiated a search and rescue for the lost hiker and continued looking until 3AM on October 19. Then LCSAR resumed the search at 7AM the same day. All during this search, the LCSAR teams repeatedly called the lost hiker’s cell phone, but received no answer.
Understandably, the search teams were concerned. Mount Elbert is surrounded by others of Colorado’s “Fourteeners” and the terrain is very treacherous. There are dangers from falls, exposure, wildlife, and avalanches. Each year LCSAR reports numerous fatalities.
Then, in the middle of their second search, LCSAR received word that the lost hiker had returned to their party safe and sound. When the search team inquired if the hiker received any of their phone calls through the night, the answer was affirmative. “What? Why then didn’t the hiker answer?” The hiker responded that they didn’t recognize the phone number and ignored it as spam.
Yes, while search and rescue teams were frantically searching and calling for the lost hiker, he or she was not very cooperative. They ignored the teams’ many calls.
You know, the prophet Isaiah correctly reported the whole of humanity as “lost.” “All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). When Jesus walked the earth He described His people as the “lost sheep” of Israel (Matthew 10:6; 15:24). Paul the apostle would extend this description to the whole of humanity (Romans 3:8-23). All of us strayed from the only path that leads to life.
And we’re in far deeper danger than any lost hiker in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. “Our adversary the devil, prowls about like a ravenous, roaring lion seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). And on either side of God’s chosen path are precipitous cliffs that lead to eternal destruction. In fact, there is no hope of salvation for those who wander from God’s straight and narrow way.
Yet God has launched a massive search and rescue mission on behalf of His doomed rebels. He sent His one and only Son to seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19:10). At a horrific cost to Himself and torment to His only Son, God located and reached us.
But we are hardly cooperative with God’s rescue efforts. Like the lost hiker on Mount Elbert, we persistently ignore God. Call after call from God goes unanswered. We treat His pleading with contempt, as worthless spam.
If there is a shred of decency in any of us, we’d respond to God’s call. If there’s any tenderness left in our conscience, we’d run in God’s direction, especially after He’s gone to such effort, expense, and pain to save us.
When the God of the universe has gone to such extremes to redeem us and secure us a place in Heaven, ignoring His call is a serious sin. If we have not yet responded to God’s unfailing love for us, how can we hope to escape His judgments? What else but Hell are we fit for? If we repeatedly treat God’s love with contempt, then we are contemptible before all the host of heaven. Hell is where we belong.
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, please open my blind eyes and soften my hardened heart. Strip away my cynicism and confront me with the reality of Your Son, who carried my sin upon Himself and then suffered Your judgments and wrath in my place. O God, forgive my arrogance and heartlessness. I flee to Jesus as Your appointed Savior for me. I cling to Him for cleansing from my sin and for salvation from eternal destruction. Save me, O God, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ Your Son. Amen.
(Information from: https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2021/10/26/Lake-County-Search-and-Rescue-lost-hiker-spam-calls/5951635272529/; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Elbert)