Imagine being caught up in a rip current and being helplessly swept away into the sea.
Imagine nobody being around to help bring you to safety.
That’s not what happened a few days ago on a Florida beach. While several members of a family were caught up in a very strong rip current in 15 feet of water, there actually were people around to help them to safety.
Initially, two young boys were caught in the current. Their mother, Roberta Ursrey, saw them struggling, and against the advice of several onlookers, decided to swim out and try to save them. Once she was caught up in the current herself, other family members attempted to rescue the three. That’s what family members do. But they were swept into the current, as well.
Then something remarkable happened.
Over 80 people linked themselves together to form a football-field-length chain in the direction of the struggling swimmers. All nine members of the family were saved, and all of the rescuers made it safely to shore (Panama City News Herald, July 11, 2017).
There are times when we, as brothers and sisters in Christ, need to “chain up” in order to go out into the world in a concerted effort to help bring the spiritually struggling, the drowning, the helpless, and the hopeless brother or sister to safety.
We don’t attempt the rescue alone.
We understand the dangers we face in making the attempt.
We respect the power of the rip current.
But we make the attempt, because that’s what family members do.
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2)