Friday, October 24, 2008

The Deep End
October 24, 2008 • Category: Encouragement
by Robert Ferguson
Today’s scripture: Psalm 113 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Robert Ferguson):

I knew there was going to be a problem.

Just a few months ago, my partner and I took the kids to Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio for a water adventure vacation. There would be a full day spent at the water park and at least a full day dedicated to the pool at the hotel. We intended to swim to our hearts content and we gave the “moms” strict instructions to pack multiple swim suits.

As we set out for our first big splash in the hotel pool, I remembered the problem. Bryce, my 7 year old, has no concept of fear of the water. He believes he is a fish. So unlike his dear old godfather, he does not check little things like water depth! When he sees water he simply starts running and jumps in. The problem is that Bryce cannot swim. He believes he can swim and he does do a mean dog paddle and splash around, but it’s not swimming. Consequently, I have had to rescue him from a water emergency on more than one occasion.

So here he is, once again, bolting for the deep end — and I am fully dressed in street clothes. This was supposed to be the kids taking a quick dip before dinner after a long car ride, and the adults were just going to watch from a distance. I tried to stop him but the series of events was already in play.

Running, jumping, and squealing, he goes headlong into the pool. I am looking right at him when he realizes he can’t touch the bottom of the pool, and so begins the furious flailing of arms and the desperate gasps for breath. (Note that in addition to being a world class dog paddler, Bryce could also be an award winning dramatic actor.) So now the question for both the eagle-eyed lifeguard on duty and me is this: is he actually drowning or being gloriously over dramatic? Either way, I have no choice but to jump in, jeans and all, and pull him to safety. He responds with gleeful cheers and requests to do it again!

As I was reading today’s passage I was particularly struck by verses 5 and 6. “Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high, Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth?” The author of the psalm suggests that God’s glory is not only high above the heavens and reigning over creation, but our creator comes down to behold the things of the earth.

The imagery of a God who is not above it all but is concerned for each one of us is comforting. We should all be surprised by the fact that such an awesome and infinite being would have anything at all to do with us. The Creator God actually wants to be involved with the lowly creation.

Our heavenly parent is watchful over us when we find ourselves in deep water and unable to touch the bottom. We see examples of God’s personal involvement throughout the Bible. Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego were not saved from the fiery furnace, they were saved in the midst of the fiery furnace. Paul and Silas were not saved from the prison, they were saved while behind locked doors in the prison. Daniel was not saved from the lion’s den, but rather saved in the lions den.

Today we are called to trust and believe that in all times — both good and bad — God is able not only to rescue us, but raise us to new heights and new places. It is amazing what one so high does for one so low!

Prayer for the day: God, thank You for stooping down to be with me. Thank You for the times You’ve rescued me. Help me to see You and trust You when I’m in my own deep water.


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