Friday, May 2, 2014
There's one summer that I'll never forget. After a long, hot ride to Florida, we finally arrived at our hotel. We unloaded the car and soon were donning our new bathing suits. We could hardly wait to get to the beach. Although my father was tired and would have loved to have spent the rest of the day inside the hotel room resting; he agreed to take us down to the beach. After driving a short distance, he slowly parked on the sand.
My brother, sister, and I had new inflatable rubber floats, a rare treat for us that year. My mother went down the beach to spread out a blanket and Daddy began the daunting task of blowing up each of our floats. My sister was the first to receive her float. She was so proud of it and hugged it to her chest. My father began blowing up the next one and out of the corner of his eye, he watched my sister running toward the water. Our parents had warned us to wait until they were ready to get in the water with us, but a few minutes later, my sister had somehow managed to get her float into the water and was sitting proudly on top of it. My brother and I were dumbfounded and jealous at the same time. We wanted Daddy to hurry and get our floats blown up so we could get in the water too.
I don't remember who saw it first, me or my brother, but one of us screamed that my sister was going out too far into the ocean. Although we didn't know it at the time, we learned later that she had been caught in an undertow. The current was whisking her rapidly out toward the horizon. The sheer fear that washed over my father's face is forever etched in my memory. In a split second, he was racing toward the water and diving in. My father did not know how to swim, but on that day, he dog paddled with lightning speed and managed to get to my sister's float just in the nick of time.
When they reached the shore, my sister was bawling and my father was as white as a sheet. The commotion had drawn quite a crowd of onlookers. As we all gathered around my sister, we were silent realizing that this day could have ended quite differently.
The undertow had taken my sister several hundred yards out into the water. To this day, I still don't know how my father got to her before she'd fallen off the float and drowned. It had to have been purely by the grace of God that she was saved especially since my father didn't know how to swim. Thinking about that day made me realize that we are often in a hurry to run ahead of God, choosing our own way, instead of listening to His loving guidance. We, in our selfish ways, want to do things when we want to do them and how we want to do them. Often times, we find ourselves thinking that everything is okay even when we've been warned not to do something; but then, we find ourselves floating out to sea with no rescue in sight. We are suddenly drifting toward disaster. We get caught in the undertows of life...the powerful undertow of lust or temptation, the relentless tug of materialism, the undertow of social acceptance...there are so many currents out there that can carry us in dangerous directions. There are undercurrents of false doctrines and all kinds of teachings that don't line up with the Word of God. These are some of the most dangerous of all.
Do you ever find yourself drifting? Do temptations often overwhelm you? When you find yourself aimlessly drifting, remember to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus! He is the anchor that will keep you tethered and safe from raging tides. Ephesians 4:14 says "We will no longer be babies in the faith. We won't be like ships tossed around by the waves. We won't be blown here and there by every new teaching. We won't be blown around by the cleverness and tricks of people who try to hide their evil plans."
It's so important to know the truth of God's Word. It is a compass to guide you in every situation. Don't run ahead of God and try to do things in your own strength. Let Him navigate you through the rough and murky waters of life. Don't be tempted to climb up on the float of your own wisdom for you may soon find yourself drifting out to sea.