Thanks For Saving My Life!

by Kimberly B. Southall

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When I was a child, my mother allowed me to walk around the block to the Ben Franklin store while she helped my father in their store. This was safe for me even at the age of seven, because it didn't require my crossing any street; all I had to do was walk up the block, around the corner, and down the sidewalk.

A few years later, at the age of nine or ten, my mother said I could cross the street by myself in order to venture forth to other stores as well. Naturally, she stressed the importance of looking both ways before crossing. And while the task of crossing the street was still a novelty for me, I was more than careful. I looked both ways twice before crossing, just to be sure it was safe. But soon enough, with the passing of time and having navigated across the street numerous times, I began to think I was an expert street-crosser.

And so the day came when I was preoccupied with looking for something in my purse. I stepped off the curb to cross the street without even glancing in either direction. Fortunately, as I heard the roar of a car engine, a hand clamped around my upper arm and snatched me back onto the sidewalk. As the realization sunk in that someone had just saved me from being hit by a car, I turned toward the person who still held my arm with a vise-like grip to say thank you. I scarcely had opened my mouth to speak when the lady immediately let go of my arm and apologized for grabbing me! She quickly explained that she didn't think; she just grabbed me when she saw the car coming. And with that, before I ever got the chance to thank her, she hurried across the street and away from me. So to the lady who snatched me away from danger that day in the 70s, I say, "Thanks for saving my life!"

As I recalled this episode in my life, a passage of scripture came to mind:

"snatch others from the fire and save them . . ."  --Jude 23 (NIV)
This scripture, of course, is speaking of snatching a sinner out of the future fires of hell. Just as that lady snatched me from physical danger that day long ago, we ought to be snatching the unsaved from the future fires of hell. Think about it. Where would I be if that woman hadn't snatched me out of the street before it was too late? She didn't hesitate or take time to weigh the pros and cons. She just did it. Otherwise, I wouldn't be alive today to tell about it. What about those we know who aren't Christians? We know what the outcome will be on Judgment Day for these folks. Are we trying to snatch them from the fire? Are we telling them what they need to hear? Have we shared the Gospel with them? When we stand before the throne of Judgment, will we need to give an account for those we didn't warn who are then eternally condemned to the fires of hell (see Ezekiel 3:18-21)? Or will there be those who rush forward to greet us with an ecstatic, "Thanks for saving my life!"?

Copyright © 2000 Kimberly B. Southall. All rights reserved.