"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up My Jewels."
To my dear grandchildren,
Buried in an Avalanche
Jason Kostner is a young man who enjoys skiing on Mt. Shasta in California. He is somewhat unusual in that he often takes his dog along. His dog is an Australian Shepherd named PJ who loves to run. PJ sometimes even rides the chairlift with Jason up to the top of the mountain.
One day in April when there was still plenty of snow on the mountain, Jason started skiing down the part of the mountain called the "Powder Bowl" with PJ running along behind him. The Powder Bowl is just south of what is called "Avalanche Gully."
While he was skiing down the slopes, he suddenly felt the snow shifting under his skis. He looked around and saw that the entire snow-covered mountainside was sliding down in an avalanche! Just for a moment he was able to see PJ, and the avalanche of snow was curling over the dog . . . then PJ was out of sight.
The next thing Jason knew was that the bank of snow racing down the slope hit him and sent him flying through the air in a cartwheel. He was able to land in a kneeling position on his skies. He quickly raised himself and was able to ski out of the path of the avalanche, but he knew PJ was trapped somewhere in the snow.
As fast as he could, Jason made his way to the bottom of the slope where the avalanche had finally come to a halt. He anxiously scanned the huge pile of snow, but there was no sign of the dog. He called loudly, "PJ! . . . PJ!" But no PJ came bounding towards him.
Have you ever been buried in snow or somewhere else where you couldn't escape? What a hopeless feeling that is. The Bible tells us that we are all sinners, and we are buried in our sins: "There is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:22-23). The good news is that there is saving help for sinners: "The Son of Man (Jesus) is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). And He is searching for sinners buried in their sins right now. He is the help and hope for sinners.
But how could Jason help PJ? He knew that if PJ was buried in the avalanche, there was only a slim chance of finding him alive. Avalanche victims have only a fifty percent chance of surviving if they are found within twenty minutes after they are buried in the snow. But Jason was not willing to give up hope. He called for help on his cell phone.
An Avalanche Search and Rescue team made up of a golden retriever dog named Cider and his trainer happened to be nearby. They raced to the avalanche area, knowing that minutes might make the difference between life and death for PJ. Cider was a little older than a puppy and had been trained in search and rescue procedures. The dog searched for an hour without picking up any scent.
Then another trainer and his dog arrived. Kenai was also a golden retriever and had more experience than Cider. The trainer widened the search area and led the dogs in a crisscross pattern over the snow.
Jason really loved his dog and did everything he could to find him. He didn't give up hope even when finding the dog alive seemed impossible. And do you know that God really loves you and is searching for you, and He has not given up hope. In order to find you, he sent His very own Son Christ Jesus from heaven to this world of sin where, on Calvary's cross, He paid the penalty for sins of every person who would believe on Him as his or her Saviour.
Suddenly Cider picked up a scent and started digging just the way he was trained to do. Soon the men were helping him dig. Four feet down into the snow they found the body of PJ. Carefully they lifted him out of the hole. His body was limp, and there didn't seem to be any body heat as they laid him on top of the snow. Then to their astonishment, PJ opened his eyes and looked at them! He was still alive!
A sense of relief washed over Jason. They wrapped the dog in blankets and rushed him to a veterinarian who assured Jason that with rest PJ would recover.
You don't have to remain buried in your sins. If you will truly admit to God from your heart that you are a sinner who needs to be saved and accept Christ Jesus as your Saviour, He will forgive every one of your sins, removing them forever! Will you let Him save you from your sins? He is your only hope.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).