My home church's Christmas project this year is to donate funds to Touch A Life (https://www.touchalifekids.org/), a ministry that rescues exploited children from slavery. Our theme leading up to Christmas naturally became "Rescue." Members shared their personal rescue stories for a daily devotional, and I contributed the following.
I once owned a ski boat. My husband says I owned it three years and talked about it twenty. But, hey, they were a great three summers! (He’s probably just jealous because we weren’t dating then.)
Back to the rescue story…
People can lead you astray when you don’t follow what you know to be true.
The second day I took my beloved vessel out for a ride, I wasn’t supposed to pull a skier. Since it was brand spanking new, I had to log hours to break in the boat. A friend, her boyfriend, and I took her up river, and then, as the afternoon dwindled, we headed back down. Two people came into view, jumping and waving on a sandbar, so we swung by to see what was wrong. They happened to be a married couple that we knew, and their boat was dead.
I was pretty sure that if I wasn’t supposed to pull a skier, pulling a boat was a no-no. But… the other people involved were positive it would be a good idea to tow the boat. I reluctantly agreed to pull them to the closest dock. But … everyone thought I should just take them all the way to where they parked. I gave in. The sun was setting as we neared the turn for the last gas station before our dock. We still had a ways to go, so I wanted to stop and fill up, but again, the rest of the crew thought my worries were silly.
Until my boat stopped. In the middle of the reservoir. At sunset.
One other boat passed us in the distance, and we went nuts, waving for them to stop. They waved back and kept going.
Most April nights in Mississippi aren’t unseasonably cold—like this night where the temperatures dipped into the low forties. The temptation to jump ship and try to swim toward a glowing light a couple of miles away pecked at me, drove me mad, but the risk of hypothermia was too great. By midnight, I lay flat in the hull of the boat to get out of the wind and cold, while the other two couples huddled together for warmth.
One of the worst nights ever. All because I didn’t go with what I knew to be true. My whole life at that time seemed to be following that same pattern in other areas. Instead of following God’s truth, I followed man’s.
At first light that April morning, I heard a distant rumble. I scanned the surface of the misty water and spotted a lone fisherman. We waved and yelled until he quietly neared in his little boat and tugged us to the closest dock. Yes, he looked at us like we were idiots, and I finally understood why someone would kiss the dirt.
We all end up in situations where we need to be rescued, sometimes because of friends or culture or self-centeredness, other times, through no fault of our own. Whatever the reason, when we call out to Him, our gracious Lord quietly comes alongside us, rescues us in our disasters… pulls us onto solid ground. Sometimes, He may even be looking at us like we’re idiots, but He still loves us just the same.
Do you have a rescue story?
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Under the Southern Sun
Janet W. Ferguson