Here in northern Florida it’s not unusual to see the orange and white helicopters of the US Coast Guard in the skies overhead . Not a big deal. But seeing one approaching when your boat has capsized and you’re in the water – well that’s a VERY big deal indeed.
Before we jump in the water and talk about rescues, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — where the wettest thing in my study is my cup of coffee. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
Have you ever been rescued? Perhaps a lifeguard has pulled you safely to shore or to the side of the pool at some point. Or maybe you were in an auto accident and someone pulled you out of your vehicle. It’s likely you’ve seen a rescue, even if you’ve never needed one.
The United States Coast Guard rescues an average of 10 people a day. That’s ten Dads, Moms, family or friends coming home. Ten less funerals. The USCG is a lifeguard that never sleeps; with over 50,000 men and women serving along America’s coastline. But the Coast Guard is not the only lifeguard who never sleeps.
Today’s verse says GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH, AN EVER PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE
Not only does God offer you the “Best Guarantee in the World” and serve as the stronghold into which you can take refuge, but He’s better than the best-lifeguard you’ve ever seen. The one who keeps you never sleeps, not even a moment of slumber. He’s always on the alert. Better than merely alert, He never grows weary. And the legions of angels under His command make the 50,000 “Coasties” seem small in comparison.
I’ve watched a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at work as he accomplished the rescue of a family. Their boat had capsized, everyone was in the water. The rescue swimmer did a free fall entry from the rescue helicopter, dropped 30 feet into the ocean and then swam to the overturned boat. He pulled person after person from the craft several hundred feet into the open water, where the prop wash from the chopper wouldn’t impact the people holding onto the boar for dear life. He secured them in the rescue basket, and then swam back to get the next victim as his team pulled the first person on board the helo and dropped the basket back to the surface. Over and over the scene repeated, until everyone was rescued.
The rescue swimmer was exhausted at the end of the ordeal. God is never exhausted, His strength never wanes and He never gets weary.
I’ve seen a Coast Guard helicopter “just happen” across a boat taking on water that didn’t even have a radio to call for help. The folks on the boat literally had to wave them down. That’s pure luck. You don’t need to be lucky when you need help from God, you only need to be willing to ask. No special radio needed for communication, just open your mouth and pray. He’s always listening.
I’ve watched a rescue where the helo team was only five minutes away when the “Mayday” call was received. But to be honest it can take quite some time for a rescue vessel or chopper to get to the scene, and even more time to be able to locate the people in need. Wind, weather and darkness can make finding those in need pretty challenging, even if you’re in the right area. But God’s not hampered by darkness or the elements, He’s always right there; AN EVER PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE.
“Taking the load” is the term for bearing up the basket with the victim back into the copter. The bible says, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.” He bears us up, He takes our load.
GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH, AN EVER PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE
I heard a story of a ship that was sinking in the middle of a storm, and the captain called out to the crew and said, “Does anyone here know how to pray?” One man stepped forward and said, “Yes sir, I know how to pray.” The captain said, “Good, you pray while the rest of us put on life jackets – we’re one short.”
God’s never one life jacket short, because He doesn’t need them to rescue you. He’s OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH.
I know a woman who’s husband of four decades passed away a few days ago; we’ll be attending his funeral next Saturday. The widow needs someone capable of “taking the load” for her, lifting her up while her broken heart heals. I know a father who was put in jail yesterday because his life is controlled by methamphetamines instead of Jesus. He needs Jesus “taking the load” and delivering him from his addictions. Then there’s you. I don’t know what load is sinking you today, what burden threatens to drown you. But I know a lifeguard who never sleeps and is never one lifejacket short. He is your REFUGE AND STRENGTH, AN EVER PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE. And He is capable of “taking the load” when you ask Him.