I heard about a 9-1-1 call that Avery Shawler made on Labor Day in 2016. She was climbing alone on Devil’s Bedstead, an 11,865 foot peak in the Pioneer Mountains in Idaho. She is a certified SOLO Wilderness First Responder and an experienced climber. Therefore, she carried a first aid kit and other emergency protection with her on the climb.
The light dusting of snow that fell that morning iced up, necessitating a risky climb to gain access to a safer route to descend. When she reached the last rock of her ascent, the rock broke loose and she fell 60 feet. She sustained multiple serious injuries accompanied by copious bleeding. She couldn’t leave the ledge upon which she fell. Her first-aid kit was handy, but she needed emergency assistance.
So, she made a 9-1-1 call. She called 19 times before she got through due to the poor cell signal at her location. The operator was able to determine her location and dispatch a rescue helicopter to lift her off the mountain. Once on board the helicopter, her rescuers said that in one more hour she would have likely died.
We can see a 9-1-1 call in Acts 9:10-18. The call is found in Acts 9:11. Acts 9-1-1. In this passage, the Lord is the 9-1-1 dispatcher, Saul is the person needing emergency assistance, and Ananias is the rescuer. Ananias went to Saul when the Lord sent him and Saul received his sight.
Do you realize that you are part of the Lord’s emergency response team? Jesus said in Jn 20:21, “As the Father hath sent me, even so send I you”. In Acts 1:8 we see that the Lord has given us the Spirit to witness. He sent Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. He dispatched Ananias to Saul in Acts 9. And he sent Peter to Cornelius in Acts 10. There are people all around us in dire need of someone to rescue them from hell and death. By virtue of your salvation in Jesus Christ, you are part of the team whom the Lord can use to save them.
Were you to get a 9-1-1 call would you know what to say? Emergency responders go through hours and hours of training. They are exceedingly proficient. And we must be exceedingly proficient with the gospel to see souls saved.
A fellow simply named “Key” is a safecracker. He was taught the art by an expert safecracker when he was young. He spent untold thousands of hours perfecting the art. There is not a safe that he cannot crack.
A fellow named Tommy Caldwell started rock climbing with his father when he was a child. In his book, “The Push”, he describes the seven years of arduous training he underwent to climb the 3,000 foot Dawn Wall on El Cap in Yosemite with his partner, Kevin Jorgensen. The sent the wall in 19 days in a single climb.
If these men put in thousands of hours to succeed in their trade, should not we put in the hours and hours of training to help souls in need of salvation? I’m convinced that more of us don’t go to the lost because we are simply not prepared.
Were you to get a 9-1-1 call would you respond? Emergency response teams don’t hesitate. But we hesitate when we sense the Holy Spirit directing us to witness to someone. We can’t do this. Souls without Jesus need us.
I remember Arthur. His nurse called me around midnight. Arthur wanted to speak with a preacher. I was with him from 2:00 a.m until after dawn. Arthur was saved that night and we baptized him in his bath tub. Several weeks later he died. He wouldn’t have made it to heaven if we hadn’t responded to the call.
Jesus was always on call and he always responded to the call. He responded to Jairus, whose daughter was dying. He responded to the blind men, the lepers, Lazarus’s sisters, and many, many more. Every time they called, he went.
Conclusion: the questions are, “Will you do the training that’s necessary to help those in need of Jesus”? “Will you become proficient as a soul winner so that Jesus can dispatch you to those needing to be saved”? And “When you get a 9-1-1 call, will you go”?