I couldn't help but remember one time we went to the ocean when I was just a kid. I remember my brother and I both had rafts which we were lying on. We drifted to and fro on the waves. Before I realized it, I was way too far out. Realizing that I was too far out, I tried my best to solve my problem by starting to paddle back to the shore. However, no matter how hard I tried to paddle on the raft, I was getting nowhere. In fact, little by little, I was actually drifting further and further out to sea. I had drifted out far enough that the current was no longer pushing me toward the shore, but out to sea.
I was very scared and called to my father who was on the shore. He did not hear me, but finally he saw how far out I was. He swam out to me, and I can remember feeling that there wasn't anything that my father couldn't do.
You see, people didn't call my dad, Big George, for nothing. My dad was no bean pole of a man. He had strength and power. He had the biggest hands of anyone I have ever personally known. I knew my dad was strong enough to save me.
When my dad arrived, I was so relieved. He grabbed ahold of my raft and began to pull me. My dad was putting all he had into getting us to the shore, and I was putting all I had into it too by paddling. It seemed that we were making progress, but then it seemed that we stalled out. We were not making any progress at all.
It was at this moment that I had the scariest realization which was that if my dad couldn't save me, then there was no hope at all. After what seemed like eternity, we finally made it back to the shore. My dad had saved me when it seemed that all hope was lost.
Isn't this a picture of our Holy Father? How many times in our lives do we find ourselves either by choice or by accident in a situation where we feel we are so far from where we should be? We have lost our way. We have strayed too far from the truth.
First, we try to figure out a solution and take control of our own situation. Sometimes, it may work, or it may not. We think we can fix it. We want to be able to pat ourselves on the back when we get to shore and take pride in what we have done or our accomplishments. It is, as my mom has said, the subtle or not so subtle sin of self-reliance.
What God wants most from us in our darkest hour is for us to humble ourselves and cry out to Him. He wants us to let Him know that we have lost our way, and we need His help. The journey back to the shore might be hard. It might be more work than you ever thought you could do, but if you trust in the Lord, He will always pull you through. He will always save you. You cannot ever get too far out that He will not come to your rescue if you are willing to humble yourself and call on His name.
I am glad that my dad never gave up on me and pressed on hard to get us to that shore. I am glad that I serve a God who never leaves us or forsakes us. How I love the verse where Jesus is talking to the people of Jerusalem and says,"...how often have I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you are not willing."
I can't help but hear the motherly instinct in those words. The protection, the compassion, and the love in those words. He wants to save us if we will only let Him. There is no problem too big. Nothing you have done that hasn't been done before. If we are willing, He wants to gather us under His wing and protect us. Who wouldn't want that?
"...if my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray and
seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV