Devotion - April 28

[Psalms 136-140, Proverbs 28, Colossians 1:9-13]

It can be a humbling, frustrating or scary experience to need a rescue.

I was swimming once in the Columbia river. It was a trip with college friends, and a sorority sister and I had been floating and talking in the water when we realized the current had carried us out and we needed to get back. We both headed back, but I was not as strong a swimmer and it seemed that no matter the effort, the riverbank was no closer. Anxiety began to grow into full blown fear. I needed to be rescued. And since you are reading this, you know that I was. My friend Sean saw me struggling and swam out with another buddy and a float. I have never underestimated the power of currents since - or lost my healthy fear of water.

This pandemic is only one of many experiences that immerse us in the reality that we need to be rescued. God is good, beautiful and majestic – creating and entrusting life for that end. People, created in God’s image, have the capacity for beauty, goodness and even majesty (Psalm 139:14 in today’s reading reminds us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made). We are all caught, however, in a current too powerful for our own efforts to overcome it. Salvation is a rescue story. Remember the refrain sung over and over in Psalm 107?

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.

The scariest moment in that river was the realization that no one was looking for me – the fear that no one would notice my peril. The Psalms repeat over and over again that the LORD sees and rescues (Psalm 138:6). Jesus said that he came not only to save the lost, but to seek  and to save the lost. Paul writes in Colossians 1:13-14:

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Where do you experience the need for rescue today especially? Where do you hear and see it in others? What are you most afraid of?

Remember that there are two scary parts to needing a rescue – the realization that you can’t reach shore yourself, and the fear that no one is noticing. Today, take the time to sit in prayer with God who is seeking you in Jesus. Let God’s Spirit lead you back to the safety of restored faith in his compassion and ability to rescue you – spiritually and tangibly.

Then remember as you listen to people you know and love that they, also, experience the need for rescue and the fear that no one strong or willing or compassionate enough is looking for them. Let’s take every opportunity in word and deed to witness to the God who is.
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