This is family beach week for our crew down at Wrightsville Beach. Unfortunately, our son and his family have been passing Covid around, so they were not able to join us.
While we are at the beach, we love fishing, body surfing, walking and just playing in the water. We make it a point to swim close to a lifeguard stand whenever we get in the water. We aren’t paranoid about the ocean but with rip tides and jellyfish and such, we like to be close to help when we need it. In all of my years at Wrightsville Beach, I have only seen a handful of rescues but it is inspiring to watch a lifeguard jump from the stand and rush into the water to save a person in trouble.
To be honest, most of the time we don’t pay much attention to the lifeguards. They sit in their stands, swinging their whistles and gazing out over the water. Once in a while they will whistle at someone who is swimming too close to the pier or warn us if lightning has been spotted. Other than that, we basically ignore them.
But if I, or any member of my family gets in trouble in the water, I want to know there is a lifeguard who has their eyes on us. I expect immediate response if I call out “Help!”
Come to think of it, we kind of treat God the same way. For the most part, we don’t pay God much attention. We assume He is watching over us and that He will respond whenever we call out for help. Otherwise, we are content for Him not to interfere with our routine. We don’t want a “whistle” when we venture into dangerous waters. We tend to ignore His suggestions regarding our spiritual, mental or emotional health.
It is true, God said, “Then call on me when you are in trouble and I will rescue you.” (Psalm 50:15 NLT) He is watching over you and is ready to come to your aid when you call. But God also wants to have an intimate, ongoing relationship with you. Jesus invites us, “Stay joined to me and let my teachings become part of you.” (John 15:5 CEV) He wants to be part of your playing and your praying, your tears and your cheers, your laughter and your…after.
He is there to guard ALL of your life, not just when you are in deep water.
By Dr. Jim Baldwin