Sunday, July 19, 2015

Rescued From the Storm

There is a story that has circulated on the internet that lends itself to today’s post.  I am taking the liberty of offering it up…again.

Mr. Smith lived in a part of the country that was getting deluged with torrents and buckets of rain.  It just kept coming and coming and before he knew it, the creek near his house was so swollen it overflowed its banks.

As the rains persevered, with no end in sight, the water crept closer and closer to Mr. Smith’s front door.  Soon it seeped under his doors and began to soak everything.  This situation was getting serious and Mr. Smith found himself experiencing fear for his safety. There was no phone service and the internet was completely down; in other words, he had no way to call for help.

Mr. Smith decided there was no better time to be praying for his rescue so he began in earnest.  He knew he worshipped a God of miracles and recalled the many stories in the Bible that spoke of God’s amazing rescues.
He crawled up to the roof and sat at the very top of his house, counting on God to produce His special miracle.

Soon, a man in a rowboat came by and told Mr. Smith to hop on.  “Oh no, he said.  God is going to save me.”  So the man in the rowboat went on to see if he could help someone else.  Next, a helicopter flew overhead, hovered above Mr. Smith and a ladder was thrown to him with instructions to climb up into it.  “Oh no, he said.  I am waiting on God to save me.”  Finally someone came by with a raft and life jacket and urged Mr. Smith to put on the jacket and jump on the raft.  By now you have probably guessed what Mr. Smith’s answer was!

The rains continued until the house was swept away, taking Mr. Smith with it and the inevitable happened…. he drowned.  Upon approaching the “pearly gates” he asked God, "Why didn’t you rescue me?!  (I know…you saw this coming; bear with me.)  God said, “Brother, I sent you a rowboat, a helicopter and a raft.  How did you think you were going to be rescued?”

All of us have either been through some kind of life “storm”….or one is just on the horizon. This life journey is never a comfortable, easy-to-navigate trip.  No matter how prepared we think we are, life can take us by surprise.  Storms have a way of shaking us up and showing us how in control we are.... NOT!

What storm do you face today?  Might it be a job loss and impending economic disaster?  A marriage that is stressed or a potential divorce?  A rebellious child or an addicted family member?  Or perhaps it is cancer or some other life threatening or debilitating illness.

The list is endless, isn’t it?

The real question is: can you identify God’s presence in the midst of the storm?  Is He possibly offering you a way out that doesn’t resemble the solution you may have imagined?  Maybe He is offering you a sense of peace in the midst of it all.

My life has included bouts of debilitating depression, infertility, child rearing issues, divorce, sin, remarriage, a church split, the deaths of family members.  However, it has also included God’s amazing grace and forgiveness, healing, gifts of Christian friends, redemption and restoration.

 Through my life’s storms (and sometimes I can only see this in hindsight) God has provided many avenues of rescue.  I have had other Christians come along side me to counsel me, pray with and for me, listen without judgment, dry my tears or just simply be available.   
Then there are the “hands on” answers to prayer such as monetary gifts, meals, transportation, childcare, modern medicine, health education…..and so much more!  Being a part of God’s family and journeying with other believers is a HUGE way God brings rescue and deliverance.

In Hebrews 13:5 God tells us, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”    The writer of Hebrews is actually quoting from the Old Testament passage, Deut. 31:6.  Psalm 33:4 tells us God is faithful in all He does.  The entire Bible is the story of God’s faithfulness including countless stories of His "rescues"!

Maybe you have been in a very dark place, watching a loved one’s struggle at his/her end of life and it appears there is no “rescue” coming.  Really?  For the one who loves and serves Jesus, leaving this earth to live with the Lord forever is actually the greatest rescue of all!  There are days when the cry of my heart is, “Come, Lord Jesus, come”!  I look forward to His return!  Jesus stepped in that gap (created by our sin) between us and God and offered the best “rescue” ever! 

The next time you are in a dark or threatening storm, get into God’s Word, spend time in prayer and connect with other Christ followers.  Open your eyes to the beautiful ways God is working.  And keep in mind that always, in every situation: God is sovereign; He is sitting on His throne; He is working out His purposes. 



No comments:

Post a Comment