A lifeline at the right time makes all the difference
The sun was so hot and the ocean was so cool. My sister and I decided the perfect spot was not scorching on the sandy beach in Destin, but lying on a float where the waves would roll around us and keep us cool. We grabbed our floats and ran into the ocean waves. The cold water made us catch our breath as we dropped our bodies across the floats.
Relaxing in the sun, listening to the waves roll, we lost all track of time and space. Before we realized it we had been swept out to sea. We slid off the floats thinking we could swim or possibly touch the bottom. What a big mistake. As soon as I realized where we were and how far out we had floated, I had a visual of sharks eating my legs.
You may think I’m using sharks as a metaphor, but believe me it was real in my mind! I was in real panic mode and all my mind could see was a shark biting into my legs and blood filling the water around me. My heart was about to burst inside my chest from the fear that overcame me. Mary was just as scared as I was. We begin to pray.
The next thing I remember was two lifeguards screaming at us to look at them and to try to catch the lifeline they were throwing toward us. After several attempts, Mary caught one of the lines and they began to pull her in. My fear mounted because, now, I was in the vast ocean, alone, and they had not been able to throw the lifeline all the way to me. I thought I would die out there. Literally.
Finally, one of the ropes reached me and I was able to grasp it firmly. The lifeguard began to pull me to safety. I will never forget the peace that I felt when my fingers wrapped around that orange cord.
I distinctly remember every detail of that incident, even though it happen years ago. I remember all the emotions that captured my thinking and how helpless we were against the “seemingly” smooth waves. We would not have gotten on those floats if big waves had been in the ocean that day. It looked calm. It looked harmless. It looked like the best thing to do … but in the end, that decision could have taken our lives. We may not have lived had we been on a beach without a lifeguard.
That is the very way bondage creeps up on a person. People are floating along peaceful and happy in life, thinking everything is okay until one day they open their eyes and find they’ve drifted to far. Mary and I had no idea we needed help while we baked our bodies in the sun and let the cool water splash over us. “This is the life,” we said. Everything seemed so good until we found ourselves trapped in a vast ocean with no power to swim out. No matter how hard we tried to swim, we couldn’t overpower the current that was sweeping us farther out.
Life is like that for many people. If they had seen the danger ahead they would not have gotten where they are. It looked calm, peaceful and happy in the beginning. When they got out too far, they suddenly realize life had turned on them and now they are in danger of being dragged under. They are caught in bondage and the currents of life are too strong and they are too powerless to pull themselves to safety.
That is when people need a lifeline.
If we are there to throw a lifeline to them, they will reach for it when they are desperate, hopeless and helpless. Had the lifeguards not been there, we would have probably drowned ourselves fighting to survive.
You may be the only one that can be a lifeguard for someone who is in a very bad situation. Will you be there when they need the lifeline? Jesus is the only lifeline that can lead them back to safety, but you will be the Jesus they see.