27 06 2016



Have you personally experienced the life changing love of the Lord Jesus who is a committed lifeguard that refuses to let you go? Jesus is devoted to being on the lookout for any one of us who might choose to wander into an area of life’s ocean where if he doesn’t intervene, we are destined to drown. I have learned that lifeguards can’t properly do their job if the one they are seeking to rescue fights and struggles rather than just surrendering their entire body into the hands of their savior. It is not so much about us trying to hold on to the lifeguard as much it comes down to the truth that he will not let go of us.

There is no reason that any of us should die spiritually because of all that Jesus has done for us! He was proactive in swimming out to us even before we asked him to. Too many people care too much about being embarrassed by their neediness rather than just admit how desperate they are to be led to safety.

I wish this next story was just a bad joke, but unfortunately it is true. It is a tale that makes me scratch my head and wonder aloud if this world can get any more ignorant than it already is. A lifeguard from Princeton, New Jersey shared this ridiculous happening and its unbelievable response just because he was doing his job. As he was being interviewed he said, “I was lifeguarding and I jumped in to help a boy who had wandered into deep water. He appeared to be struggling and I wanted to intervene before it was too late. The boy’s mother came running over to the lifeguard and see if you can read this dialogue without wanting to bang your head against the wall. Mother: “What happened?” Lifeguard: “Everything is OK, ma’am. Your son just went into the deep into the water but I got him in time and he should be fine.” Mother: “Well, why the h*** did you help him?” Lifeguard: “Excuse me?” Mother: “Why did you have to jump in and help him?” Lifeguard: “Well, ma’am, it’s my job, and your son was having trouble swimming–” Mother: “You idiot! You embarrassed my son in front of everyone! Don’t you think you should have thought about how embarrassing that must have been for my little boy?! Lifeguard: “Actually, no I didn’t think about that. I was more concerned about your son drowning than his macho reputation.” Mother: “That’s ridiculous! Why the heck would you ever be more concerned about that?” Because this lifeguard thought that this boy’s survival was a bigger priority than his social standing, he was fired and let go from his job. I believe people do the same thing with Jesus.

A true shepherd knows that he isn’t there to make the sheep happy but he is hired to keep them alive! Jesus was rejected by the religious leaders because they refused to receive Jesus as Jesus. They wanted a Messiah on their own terms. They didn’t want a God as much as they desired a gopher! Because the Pharisees refused to acknowledge Jesus as a viable candidate to be their redeemer, they missed out on joining God’s flock! It is not that people do not believe because they haven’t heard. It is more that people don’t want to hear the truth because they refuse to believe the facts staring them right in the eyes. It is not signs that produce faith. It is childlike faith that results in a miraculous affirmation that God is a promise keeper and by his grace we are transformed forever because we choose to embrace Jesus rather than devise a plan to execute him. It is the pride of humanity that changes what should have been a coronation into a confrontation. Don’t make that mistake.

Have you ever been abandoned when you needed somebody most? Have you ever been let to make it on your own when all you craved was somebody who cared enough to love you? Have you ever been used and abused when all you really ever longed for was that somebody who didn’t run away from you just when you needed him most? Like it or not, we all need a lifeguard and if you would be honest about your search, you would discover that Jesus fits the bill.      

 We have all heard about the tragedy that happened recently in Disney when the alligator dragged a boy to his death. The other day, I was watching an interview about a grown man who had a similar experience when he was just a kid. On a hot summer day in South Florida, when he was a little boy, he decided to go for a swim in the lake behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore. His Mother, working in the yard, saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as he could.

Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed and tried to make a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached his mother, the alligator reached him. Jumping into the lake, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but there was no way she was going to let go. She dug her nails deep into her son’s skin on his arms but she won the fight and her son survived.

 During the interview, the man displayed the damage that the gator had done to his legs, and he also showed the scars that remained on his arms. But with tears in his eyes, he proudly said that every time he sees the scars on his arms, he is reminded of the fact that he is only still alive because his mom refused to let go. No creature was going to snatch this child from her hands!

 Every Christian should be able to identify with that man. We all have scars, too. Maybe ours did not come from an alligator, but our bumps and bruises were caused by addictions, physical issues, broken families and burned out faith. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some of our wounds are the result because God refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, he’s always been there holding on to you.

The Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril – and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That’s when the tug-of-war begins and if you have the scars of his love as part of your appearance, be very grateful. Jesus did not, and will not ever let you go. So is he your lifeguard? Is he your lifeline? Is he your hero? I hope and pray your answer is a definitive, “Yes!”



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28 06 2016


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