Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Life Saving Tree

A Life Saving Tree
Scripture Reading: Acts 5:17-32
“The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.”  (Acts 5:30 NIV)
We never know when we will have to face a life and death situation.  One such occasion happened to my wife and I on our drive home from an AWANA club meeting at church.  The roads were coated with ice and covered with snow.  As we approached the interstate seventy interchange we saw a long line of cars blocking the access.  We decided to take the service road west to the next junction.  We drove about three miles and saw a semi-trailer jackknifed across the two lane road.  We managed to turn around and head back to Warrenton.  The falling snow made it difficult to see.  Suddenly my right wheel slipped off the edge of the road and I lost control of the vehicle.  We glanced off a truck on the other lane and slowly began to slide backwards towards an embankment on the left.  I warned my wife to brace herself because we were going to go down the embankment and turn over.  It was a precarious situation.  Just as our car started over the edge the rear bumper caught on a small tree and we stopped abruptly.  When we exited the car we saw to our amazement that the cars momentum had been stopped by a small sapling.  A tree that God had planted saved our lives from a possible fatal accident. 
     This was my second experience with a lifesaving tree.  Back in nineteen fifty-three on a ship tied to a dock at Mare Island Naval Shipyard I had my first experience with a lifesaving tree.  It was also a tree that God had planted. 
     A little over two thousand years ago the tree was cut down and sawed into planks.  The planks were then put together to form a cross.  A man called Jesus, who claimed to be the Son of God, was brought before Pontius Pilate by the Jewish High Priest and accused of various crimes including sedition.  After much deliberation involving spitting, flogging, false witnesses, and cries of crucify him, he was pronounced guilty and taken out to a hill and hung on a tree that had been formed into a cross.  The placard on the cross read: Jesus, the King of the Jews. 
     On a foggy night while standing watch on the ship YR-71, I was introduced to the man Jesus Christ who gave his life for me on that cross many years ago.  I had no idea that a simple tree with the Savior of the world hanging on it could be such a lifesaving experience for me—but it was.  I’ll never forget that night when I placed my faith and trust in Jesus as Savior. 
     Do you want peace that comes knowing your sins are forgiven?  Turn to Jesus and believe that he died for you, and embrace his gift of salvation. 
Prayer: Dear Lord, how I thank you for the gift of salvation that comes through faith in 

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