Have you ever made a bad decision that threatened to suck you into an undercurrent of destruction? I certainly have. This memory reminds me of the dangers of jumping in where I shouldn’t.
The current swift and fierce. I could feel my body being swept away like a hollow reed.
I was just a wisp of a girl—a six-year-old, forty-pound monkey with gangly arms and legs who vowed she could do anything her eleven-year-old mischievous brother, Stewart, could do. Standing on the sole-blistering sand of Bogue Inlet, N.C., I watched as my brother Stewart and his friend plunged into the briny waters at the end of the island where the Atlantic Ocean merged with the Intercostal Waterway. The boys had one goal: swim across the waters to a sandbar some 100 feet away.
This was the spot at the end of the island where waves gave way to calm, salt water gave way to fresh, and sand gave way to soil. What looked like tranquil water on the surface was, in reality, a strong undercurrent that sucked the ocean away from its home. Like a lovesick puppy mourning its master’s absence, I watched as the boys dove into the water and swam away from shore.
“I want to go too!” I called out after them.
“You’re just a kid!” Stewart yelled back. “You stay there! You can’t come!”
“It’s not fair,” I stormed.“ He gets to do everything!”
“You stay here with us,” my dad instructed. “You’re too little. It’s not safe.”
My dad’s remarks only made me more determined to prove them all wrong. “If he can do it, I can do it,” I mumbled. “I always get left behind.”
When my dad turned his back to talk to a friend, I saw my chance and dove into the water. My thin limbs were no match for the sucking force of the undertow and the pull of the current. Very quickly, my lithe body was swept away with the ocean’s salt, sand and silt into the fresh water.
My salty tears mixed with the briny water and my small cries for help went unheard. The strong ropes of current continued to pull me away from my family, as they grew smaller.
Dad turned from his conversation to see the boys had almost hit their mark. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed my small splashes to his far right.
Propelled by panic, dad dove into the water and cut through the menacing current. Like a fisherman’s hook, dad reached out and grabbed my flailing body and reeled me to his side. With one arm, he fought the current and the other he held me tight. We finally made it to shore. My dad had rescued me.
My dad wasn’t a perfect man. He certainly made his share of mistakes, but on that day, he represented a good God and Father to me.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? Perhaps you’ve jumped into deep waters, into strong currents that appeared benignly calm on the surface, but with an undertow of trouble.
Perhaps you envied others who were headed in a certain direction and felt you were missing all the fun. “Don’t go there,” your Heavenly Father warns. “It’s not safe.”
“But why do they get to have all the fun,” you whine. “I always get left behind.”
Then, when you think God isn’t looking, in you jump! Before you know it you are being swept away in the current of poor choices, sucked down by the undertow of self-centeredness, and pulled away as your Father grows strangely small.
When we ignore our Father’s warnings, we forfeit the safety of His shore and plunge into the ocean of harm’s way: the undertow of wrong choices, the rising tide of moral danger. Perhaps that’s where you are right now. If so, there is hope. You only have to call out to your Heavenly Father for help and He will pull you safely to shore. Click & Tweet!
David cried out, “Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me” (Psalm 31:2). “Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters…” (Psalm 144:7).
As God told Moses at the burning bush, He sees, He hears, His is concerned, and He rescues (Exodus 3:7-8).
“But Sharon,” you might say, “You don’t know how far I’ve fallen. You don’t know what a mess I’ve made of my life.” You are right. I don’t know. But you Heavenly Father does and there is no place that you can go where His arm is too short to reach down and rescue you.
Dear Heavenly Father, I am so glad that Your arm is never too short to save me – to pull me out of the difficult places of life. Forgive me for ignoring the Holy Spirit’s warnings and jumping into treacherous waters that I should have avoided. Give me the strength to walk away when I feel that check in my spirit that says…don’t go there. I love you, Lord, and thank You for being my Rescuer, my Rock, and my Redeemer. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What is one situation that you need for your Heavenly Father to rescue you from right now? Do you believe that he is able?
Do the voices in your head say you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough…or just not enough, period? It’s time to stop listening to the lies that sabotage your confidence and embrace the truth of who God says you are. In Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence, you’ll learn how to recognize the lies, reject the lies, and replace the lies with truth. Includes a Bible study guide.
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