By Ron Hutchcraft
If you’re a parent, or even a grandparent, when your kid gets a great teacher, they become a hero to them and to you. But every once in a while, a teacher does something so unforgettable that we nominate them for the Heroes Hall of Fame. Robert Bailey is one of those. He’s a 27-year-old British teacher who was serving in a school in Japan. A school that suddenly was right in the path of that monster tsunami that swamped northern Japan. The students there had eight minutes to find a safe place after the tsunami sirens went off. He described the moment the earthquake hit this way: “We first heard a weird cracking noise, and then came the violent shaking.”
Bailey said he immediately ushered the students outside onto the baseball field so they wouldn’t be hit by falling debris. They found ground that was slightly elevated and then they just watched the water just keep coming toward them. Thankfully, they were able to avoid the killer wave as it passed through the valley below them, but their school was obliterated. Every other student, 137 of them, was unaccounted for. But the 42 in Robert Bailey’s class? They survived because of one man who led them to safety, a hero.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about “Tsunami Heroes.”
See, when you lead people out of the path of destruction and to the safe place, you really are a hero. It’s the kind of hero God is summoning you to be. Here’s what He says in Daniel 12:2-3, our word for today from the Word of God. “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Okay, every person on this planet, every person you know, is on one of two lists. Those headed for an awesome eternity with God and those headed for an awful eternity without God.
The next verse suggests what will make the difference. “…Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, will shine like the stars for ever and ever.”
God’s talking about those who point people to where the life is, where a saving relationship with Him is – in His Son, Jesus. It’s the one thing you can do in this life that will still mean something a hundred million years from now. Those who rescue the dying on earth are going to be heaven’s forever heroes.
And that’s why He’s put you where you are. You have been divinely positioned to be God’s tsunami warning system. And the warning is the difference between life and death. God said through the prophet Ezekiel, “I have made you a watchman…hear the word I speak and give them warning from Me…I will hold you accountable…” (Ezekiel 3:16-18). The tsunami of God’s judgment is headed our way.
The Bible says, “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). But the tsunami of God’s judgment was already taken by Jesus when He died for the sins of the people you know. The high ground–the only safe place–is that cross where Jesus paid for our sins, and you know that. Some of the people you know – don’t.
Someone has to lead them to safety, and God is counting on you. You don’t have to know hundreds of Bible verses. You don’t have to have your life totally together. You don’t have to have all the answers. You just have to be able to point them to the safe place. Your mission is to walk with them up that hill called Skull Hill; the one with the cross on top. Take them there. Tell them that the Man who died there died for them. That it was their sins He was paying for. That He loves them that much. That it’s all about Jesus.
Maybe you’re holding back because you’re afraid. That’s a normal feeling. Robert Bailey, who led those teenagers to safety in the face of that looming tsunami, was afraid. He actually said he was “terrified.” But he said he had a duty to keep those kids safe. Heroism and courage are not the absence of fear; they’re the disregard of fear, because you don’t want the people you’re responsible for to die.
Join the ConversationThe tsunami of death and judgment is coming. The warning has been sounded. The lives of the people around you depend on someone leading them to the high ground of Jesus’ cross. You are their chance, and you’re a candidate to be one of Heaven’s heroes.