Thursday, August 18, 2011

Don't Slap the Lifeguard

I was listening to a song on the radio back in 2010 and the lyrics said, “God draw close to me, and I’ll hold on to you” and that got me thinking.  I believe God is already close to us; it is us who need to draw close to him.  (Psalm 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (NIV)) (James 4:8 Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners. Make your hearts pure, you who can't make up your minds. (NIRV))

““You who can’t make up your minds,” ….so what’s that about?” you may ask, well it's really about choosing whether you are going to do life on your own or God’s way. It is as if our life experience is like swimming in an ocean and there are people around us (our selves included at times) drowning in that ocean.  Sometimes the ocean is calm and peaceful and it’s easy to swim in it, it’s easy to float around in it.  Other times the ocean is rough and choppy and the waves either almost consume you or do consume you. Life sometimes is just one big struggle to swim, and most of the time you struggle to make it.  Yes, you can swim in the ocean without a lifeguard; you can try to do everything on your own.  You may or may not drown, but it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of effort to survive swimming in that ocean on your own.  But there’s another option, you can reach out for a lifeguard.

When somebody is drowning, their arms start flailing around, then they start to panic all the while they are trying to keep their head above water but then the more they panic, the more tired they become and their head starts going under the waves.   The lifeguard comes to try and rescue that person but the person drowning physically pushes the lifeguard away, not meaning to, but because they are in such a state of panic and fear that they end up slapping and pushing the person rescuing them away and consequently the person drowning will end up drowning because they pushed the help away.

Jesus is our true lifeguard, we can have relationships with other people that can come in and try to save us, and try to help us, but it’s only temporary. They can only do it for a little while because they themselves are swimming in this ocean of life.  If you are swimming along next to a friend who is drowning, you can help them for a time, but you can’t hold onto them long enough to stabilize them through their whole life.  There’s only one person who can do that and that is Jesus.

Jesus is our only lifeguard that we have, so when we go through hard times, times where we feel like we are drowning, he is right there in the water with us. He’s right there, but we have to be able to stop flailing our arms, risk drowning, risk everything and stop trying to save ourselves and let the real savior save us from the situation we are in.

If we try to save ourselves and ask Jesus to save us from the situation that we are in at the same time it’s not going to work, it doesn’t work that way.  You cannot be drowning and save yourself along with a lifeguard saving you.   You have to make a choice. Jesus is saying, “I want to save you, I want to help you, but you keep pushing me away because you want to do it on your own.”  It only works when we completely surrender, we risk everything, we risk drowning, even though it feels like our head is going to go completely under and we’re not going to make it, we’re not going to survive what we are going through.  But that’s when the lifeguard can grab hold of us and keep our head above water, that’s when Jesus can save us from the struggle we are going through.

Jesus is the only one that has walked on water, so he can walk on the waves of frustration, depression, financial turmoil, divorce, and loss.  He can stay with us through every stormy situation and He’s also there with us through the peaceful times, when we are in that peaceful, calm cove He’s still right there with us.  Even though we don’t think we need him during those times, He’s still right there watching, making sure we’re ok, loving us, protecting us.  Don’t fight the lifeguard in times of turmoil, when the seas are rough and it seems like waves are going to take us down, don’t fight Jesus, because he is right there.

We are the only ones stopping the Lifeguard from saving us from drowning in our situation, Jesus wants to save us, He’s never left us, He’ll never forsake us, it’s only us who forsake Him.  Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (NIV)

What area of your life do you feel like you are drowning in?  Surrender to the Lifeguard and let him rescue you today.

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