January 16, 2021
Have you ever felt like you’re going under and not sure if you will come back up?
Once when I was a young boy, I almost drowned at the lake. I had gone with a friend of mine and his family. His parents were out riding in the boat, and we stayed back at the swimming area to swim. I enjoyed swimming out to the ropes, hanging onto a buoy for a while, and just chilling in the water. I had done this many times before at various swimming areas at the same lake. Well, this swim could have very well been my last! As I began to swim to the ropes, I started getting caught up in a thick bed of moss. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I definitely began to panic as I fought my way to the rope coming off one of the poles.
When I finally got there, I was exhausted. I reached out and grabbed the rope in hopes to rest, but it was slimy and covered in algae, so rather than being able to relax as I had hoped, I immediately went under. When I came back up, I set out for the pole and figured I could grab onto it and plan a way out of the moss. Unfortunately, things went from bad to worse. When I grabbed the pole, it was slimy as well. I immediately went under again. By this time, I was really struggling and exhausted from the bed of moss I was tangled up in. When I came back up, I reached as high as I could, but again, only grabbing a wet slimy area that gave me nothing to hang onto. My grip was helpless, and down I went. I remember looking up through the water at the faint sunlight, thinking if I don’t get high enough to grab a dry area on the pole, I wasn’t going to make it. I was worn out, and even though I had been able to get air each time I came up, it was just too much for me. I was tired. I was entangled. My struggle to get free only made me more exhausted. I didn’t know what my outcome was going to be. As I looked upward, I gave it everything I had and came out of the water, reaching as high as possible. I did it!
I found the dry section and was able to get a grip, but now what? I was coughing, gasping, and exhausted. My strength was gone from the fight. Then I heard it! “ Hang on! I’m coming!” The sweetest sound ever! Some fishermen had heard and seen me struggling and came to my rescue! It was a husband and wife. The husband got the boat over near me, and his wife hanging over the edge, grabbed me and pulled me out of the water and into the boat. After getting me in, they made their way back to the shore, putting me safely back on land.
Sometimes in life, we can feel exactly like this. Like everything we trust in lets us down. We struggle and fight just to try and get our head above water, exhausted from the fight, wondering if we will make it. Well, let me tell you that yes, you are going to make it! God hears you, and He will rescue you and bring you to a place of safety. Don’t give up! Keep fighting! Keep reaching! Hold on! God is coming to the rescue!
Look at Jonah’s prayer –
“I sank beneath the waves, and the waters closed over me. Seaweed wrapped itself around my head. I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever. But you, O Lord my God, snatched me from the jaws of death! As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple.
(Jonah 2:5-7 NLT)
God is so merciful! No matter what has brought on our troubles, when we call, He answers. God listens and sees our struggles and is coming to our rescue! He will draw us out of our troubled waters and take us safely to shore. So, hang on! Maybe you are tired of the fight. Your struggle has made you feel there is nothing left, but when we can’t, God can!
When there is nothing left, and we see no way out, He reaches down and pulls us in! God is about to pull you in, my friend!
Death’s ropes were around me. The grave was closing in on me. I was worried and afraid. Then I called on the Lord’s name. I said, “ Lord , save me!” The Lord is good and merciful; our God is so kind. The Lord takes care of helpless people. I was without help, and he saved me. My soul, relax! The Lord is caring for you. Lord, you saved my soul from death. You stopped my tears. You kept me from falling. I will continue to serve the Lord in the land of the living.
(Psalm 116:3-9 ERV)