There’s something within my nature that makes me hesitate to call out sometimes for help. There are so many instances throughout my life where I could point to this reality. And sometimes, I still do this even today, especially in my walk with our Lord.
I’m gonna tell you a story that keeps replaying in my mind from time to time, a story that is actually true and illustrates a truth that God still reminds me of periodically.
Many years ago when I was just a young man in the military, I had spent the better part of a day with some friends, swimming at a lake nearby here in Nova Scotia. I wasn’t a Christian at that time so I was in my early twenties and of course, I pretty much knew it all. It was a beautiful warm summer day and evening was just approaching. Physically I was pretty strong, but it had been a long day and I was starting to get tired.
About five hundred feet from the shore there was a good sized rock submerged about two feet under the surface of the water that had a good sized plastic bottle attached to it by a small chain. Not sure who had put the plastic bottle or chain there but it was kind of neat. You could swim out to that spot, where the water was way over your head and stand on that rock with the water coming up to just over your knees.
That’s when I had one of those “seemed like a good idea at the time” thoughts that I would have one last swim before calling it a day. So off I went, alone, towards the floating plastic bottle. By the time I got out there I was tired, it had been a long day and the thought never occurred to me that I would encounter any kind of difficulty. When I got to the spot where the plastic bottle was floating I stopped swimming and put my feet down where I expected the rock to be. But there was a problem, the rock wasn’t there. I started to panic for a moment because I knew that I couldn’t make it back to shore, I knew I just didn’t have the energy. I saw a few people on the shore line a few hundred feet away and thought of calling out for help but quickly changed my mind. I didn’t want to do that, I would be embarrassed, that I had put myself into a situation that had left me in a state which showed my ignorance, lack of foresight or preparedness. Strange how that works.
There have been a number of times when God has stepped in and physically saved my life. But for God’s grace, I could have easily died and departed this life when I was much younger, and older, as the years have gone by. And this was one of them. By this time it was becoming an effort to stay afloat. My strength was pretty well depleted and there wasn’t much more left and I knew that. I couldn’t possibly make it back to the shore, the strength just wasn’t there. But then a thought came into my mind to dive under the water and look for the rock. It was a good sized rock and I might be able to see it, so I did. And sure enough it was there, just a few feet off to the side of the plastic bottle. Somehow the chain had come off of its attachment to the rock and drifted with the plastic bottle away from the rock. I made it to the rock and stood on it and regained my composure and strength. And then, after a short rest, I swam back to shore.
Of course, the rock hadn’t moved, just my connection to it.
The events of that day have stayed with me all of these years. How stupid I was, in a number of ways. How youthful pride could have easily taken my life. How what others might have thought, actually became the deciding determining factor in me not calling for help and of course, that rock that was there all the time.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m not near as smart as I think I am. Actually the older one gets, the easier it becomes to recognise that reality. Thank God that I do have a rock and He doesn’t change and He is always there. My rock is Jesus. But sometimes I forget that I need to be connected to Him, constantly, every minute of every hour of everyday. And I can still allow pride to get between Him and me. Hard to believe isn’t it, how smart I think I am and how little I know. That connection we have with Jesus is prayer and letting Him know what we are anxious about and what we are dealing with. Of course He already knows, but He wants us to allow Him to build that trust in Him, to deal with our small and big problems and by doing so, by factoring Him into the equation, He becomes our constant source, our rock, for all of our needs and our faith or trust in Him grows. And as we know, that’s really what it’s all about. Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
John 15:5 NIV “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
We do have a rock! Jesus! Stay connected!
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!