There are moments in life when there is no hope and you are left with feelings of helplessness and despair. We’ve all faced those moments. Just a couple of weeks ago, my family and I were caught in a rip current as we were enjoying a late afternoon swim in the ocean as we so often do. About 45 minutes into our time, my cousin joined us in the water. We were standing in waist to chest high water, so there was no reason for concern. It was quite enjoyable, but then I heard my daughter who was about 10 feet from me loudly exclaim she could no longer stand and was struggling. Being just a few feet away and not being able to touch bottom, I realized she was probably in a rip current. I called out to my cousin for help and went for her. As soon as I stepped where she was, it was as if a rope had been tied to my leg pulling me under and out. I could see why she was struggling.
I have been in rip currents before, but today posed a different scenario… my kids were with me. As I reached out to my daughter, I made a quick move to toss her to my cousin. At which point, I lost my grip with the sandy bottom and was pulled out. I watched with anxiety as the distance between my daughter and I grew quickly. I could see my cousin begin to struggle as well and he began calling out for help. Thankfully, my son made it to my daughter as she was beginning to panic.
I tried with all I had to get back to them, but it was useless. I knew what I had to do, but my kids were in trouble. My cousin was in trouble. There is nothing to describe the feeling of helplessness as I watched from a growing distance my kids struggle. I realized I could either fight to get to them and drown from fatigue or I could do what I knew to do, float, rest and wait it out. If I choose the latter, I could at least talk to them, remind them what do to. So, that’s what I did. I repeatedly yelled to them, “Don’t fight it, just float, rest and let it carry you until it pushes you out and back in. I was ok with it until I didn’t hear them anymore.
The distance grew too great. I couldn’t see or hear my kids. It was at that moment, fear gripped me. “Did my kids go under and drown? Where are they? I don’t see them! Oh God, where are my kids? Did they drown?”
As I floated on my back and looked up to the sky, a calm came over me as I remembered the passage for my sermon the next day found in Exodus 3 verses 7-8.
The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heardthem crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them…
I began to pray aloud. “God save my kids. God save my kids. I know You see us in trouble, I know You hear my prayers… Please save my kids Lord!”
I didn’t know what was happening or where my kids were, so I continued to repeat that prayer again and again. I knew my God in heaven could see our troubles, I knew He could hear my cries for help, I knew He was concerned for us and I knew He could come down and rescue us.
It was a trying ordeal for sure, but God saw us through. After a real scare and test of faith, we all were safe back on the beach. I have reflected many times on that day. It breaks my heart to know that in moments like that, many do not have the hope of Christ our family has. To find calm in a moment of prayer to a God that listens and we know is ready and willing to rescue as Scripture states, provides such peace. When things got hairy and we did not know what was going to happen, we all apart from each other began to pray to God Who is our hope.
I pray for all to find the Hope of Christ. In times of your need, God is there and willing. He wants to rescue His creation if only we would trust Him enough to cry out to Him. Today, I encourage you to make Christ the hope for your life.
Paul is a Christ Follower. He has been married to his beautiful wife Rebecca for twenty-four years. They have two beautiful children, a dog, two cats and a turtle. They love being together as a family and doing the adventure that is ministry. They love the outdoors and enjoying God's creation.