Rescued & Blessed

Man praying with the BibleThere are times that I’ve felt trapped in conversation (almost all “one-way conversation”) with a person who “knows it all” and a friend will come up and interrupt and engage – I’m rescued. I have learned over the years how to disengage a person like that because the conversation isn’t meaningful for them or me – they know it all and insist on telling me they know it all, so my input and opinion don’t matter. I must admit that this type of person does get on my nerves a bit. Believe it or not, I do love people in general.

The Lord sees my every move. He knows where I am and where I’m headed. I believe it would blow my mind to know how many times over the course of my life that the Lord has rescued me from danger. I know some of those times because I’ve felt trapped and scared. He never just leaves me stuck or stranded – He rescues. King David was feeling blessed and grateful for the rescue of The Lord. Check this out….

I will sing a new song to you, my God;
    on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
10 to the One who gives victory to kings,
    who delivers his servant David.

From the deadly sword 11 deliver me;
    rescue me from the hands of foreigners
whose mouths are full of lies,
    whose right hands are deceitful.

12 Then our sons in their youth
    will be like well-nurtured plants,
and our daughters will be like pillars
    carved to adorn a palace.
13 Our barns will be filled
    with every kind of provision.
Our sheep will increase by thousands,
    by tens of thousands in our fields;
14     our oxen will draw heavy loads.
There will be no breaching of walls,
    no going into captivity,
    no cry of distress in our streets.
15 Blessed is the people of whom this is true;
    blessed is the people whose God is the Lord. (Psalm 144:9-15 NIV)

I reflect often on where I might be if I didn’t know the Lord. I think I’d be a miserable mess. I’d be self-centered and prideful. The Lord has rescued me from other people and other situations AND He’s rescued me from me. He has changed me from the inside out. He loves changing hearts because it leads to a changed life. He rescued my heart (I see my heart as my intellect & emotion so I guess it’s more like my soul.) from my control and He is still shaping and molding my life. My heart is the control center for my behavior.  Everything I do and say comes from my heart – and I’m continually surrendering that to Him. I am so blessed to know the Lord. I want others to know the peace that is hard to explain – that He has brought to my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Ransomed

First RespondersI get pretty uptight when there is a kidnapping on a television show and the bad guys are using a person’s life to extract money from another. The ransom demand is stiff.  It is impossible to put a price tag on loved ones. I can’t imagine having to walk down that road. I obviously am not wealthy or “stupid rich” that it would be worth someone’s time to extort me by taking a family member. I would be that guy who would give everything I must to ransom my loved one. All my stuff is replaceable, but a life doesn’t work like that.

King David is often an emotional wreck when he cries out to God in one of the Psalms. He battles fear on so many levels. It seems that his personal struggles here in Psalms was unknown to his enemies because he was also a strong warrior. Check this out…

16 As for me, I call to God,
    and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
    I cry out in distress,
    and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
    from the battle waged against me,
    even though many oppose me.

22 Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
    into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
    will not live out half their days.

But as for me, I trust in you. (Psalm 55:16-18, 22-23 NIV)

The Lord ransoms and rescues. David speaks out of experience. He has seen what the Lord is capable of to protect and provide. The Lord will do what it takes to rescue or ransom His kids from the enemy.

I’m learning that my role is to trust in my God Who is stronger than I can imagine. He can endure more than I can wrap my head around. He created the whole universe and He cares for me and my struggles whether big or little. I’m so thankful for His promise to rescue and ransom me. There are times, that He saves me from myself. I need rescuing pretty much every day. He is so up for the task!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Rescued

 

Waikato River near Huka Falls, NZI remember an incident that happened to me one of the last times I went white water rafting. I was on a guided trip with a church group going down the Ocoee River. I had my son with me in the raft and he was 12 at the time, I think. The guide had given us lots of instructions during orientation about how to lock your feet in when the rapids got rough. I was trying to follow the instructions, but I was also in “Dad Mode” and make sure my son was safe. All of a sudden we hit a couple of rocks and the boat folded up like a taco shell and I was dumped out of the water in the midst of the cold rushing rapids. The water temperature alarmed me, but very quickly I was even more alarmed at the power of the water. I couldn’t get back to the boat, the rapids were “large and in charge”. I remember the instructions to put my feet down stream and ride it out. I was getting so tired and worn out just trying to ride it out. Finally we hit a patch of fairly calm water and another boat in our group rescued me. I was exhausted and pale. The people in that boat literally pulled me out of the water, because I was helpless. That was a scary event. It took me several years before I went whitewater rafting again.

Abram rescued Lot from harm and it was very dramatic. Check this out….

14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,

‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High,

    Creator of heaven and earth.

20 And praise be to God Most High,

    who delivered your enemies into your hand.’

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (Genesis 14:14-16; 18-20 NIV)

The word rescue means to save someone from a dangerous or distressed situation. Someone who is stronger saves the one who is weaker. I will do anything to rescue my family from harm. I believe that Abram loved Lot like he was his own son. There are times when rescue is very risky, but so very necessary.

The Lord has rescued me more times than I could count. He rescued me for eternity when Jesus became the final and ultimate sacrifice for my sin. I am stunned when I really try to process this rescue. I have no response except to put my hands up and allow Him to pull me back into the boat. The Lord is my Rescuer and Redeemer. I am so very thankful for that level of love and devotion.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Help Is On The Way!

 

Tornado aftermath in Henryville, IndianaI remember an instance when I was a freshman in college at Johnson University Tennessee (formerly known as Johnson Bible College). I was headed home for the weekend in my 1973 Ford Maverick – now there was a car that didn’t stick around long! (I later went on a mission trip to Mexico and found where all the Ford Mavericks and Volkswagen Beetles went!) I believe I was taking my sister and a friend and we were going home to Kentucky for the weekend when I broke down on a remote part of I-75 on Jellico Mountain. This was way before the age of personal cellphones. We were on the side of the road for about 10 or 15 minutes when a car stopped and it was a fellow student on his way to Kentucky for a weekend ministry position that he held. He got us the help we needed –I think a radiator hose and we were back on our way. I think everyone needs help now and again. My parents taught me to help others who need help. They learned that principle from the Lord. He rescued His people when hope seemed gone. Check this out….

12 ‘I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;

    I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.

I will bring them together like sheep in a sheepfold,

    like a flock in its pasture;

    the place will throng with people.

13 The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;

    they will break through the gate and go out.

Their King will pass through before them,

    the Lord at their head.’ (Micah 2:12-13 NIV)

I don’t have the same stresses that I once had regarding travel. I will say that I do everything in my power to keep my vehicles maintained so that maybe I won’t get stranded on the side of the road anytime soon.

There are times in my life that I’ve needed help and it wasn’t because I was stranded on the side of the road, but I was stuck in a bad spot in life. I needed help to get out of the “rut” or “hole” that I was in. The Lord rescued me. I’ve since learned that I can’t go anywhere that He can’t help me. There is no area so remote that He can’t reach. My help comes from the Lord –the Maker of Heaven and the Maker of Earth. He built me. He wired me. He knows how to help me with any problem I face. His Help is always on the way!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Desperate Deep Water

Abstract Silhouette PrayingThere have been times in my life when I felt like I was going to drown. There were circumstances that I thought were going to ruin me in a big way. There were other times that I felt like the waves of responsibility were about to drown me. Now that I’m on this side of those big issues, they seem rather small. When I’m in the middle of the struggle, they appear so strong that I think they will destroy me. I’ve learned that God uses those desperate deep-water experiences to build me. I don’t believe He cause them, but He certainly won’t miss an opportunity to use them. Check this out….

1 Save me, O God,

    for the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in the miry depths,

    where there is no foothold.

I have come into the deep waters;

    the floods engulf me.
3 I am worn out calling for help;

    my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,

    looking for my God.
13 But I pray to you, Lord,

    in the time of your favour;

in your great love, O God,

    answer me with your sure salvation.
14 Rescue me from the mire,

    do not let me sink;

deliver me from those who hate me,

    from the deep waters.
15 Do not let the floodwaters engulf me

    or the depths swallow me up

    or the pit close its mouth over me.
16 Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love;

    in your great mercy turn to me.
17 Do not hide your face from your servant;

    answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
18 Come near and rescue me;

    deliver me because of my foes. (Psalm 69:1-3; 13-18 NIV)

 

I’m so thankful that the Lord knows how to navigate the waters that appear to drown me. I’m so thankful that He has a mighty hand to rescue. He hears my cry for help. He acts on my behalf. He can move mountains because He built them. He can cause the waters to recede because He created water. He is Lord of Creation and Lord of my life. I trust Him with my journey. I need Him every step of the way.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Rescued

RescurerWhen I was a kid, I loved watching this show called “Emergency” where these two paramedics would save people from car accidents, burning buildings, etc… They were the rescuers. It made for some interesting television and I’m sure the ratings were high, if they counted that sort of thing way back then! I’ve grown older now and I know people who serve in those positions of rescue and it’s a very fulfilling part of their job to save lives of people who without them would surely die.

Peter had a serious rescue when he was about to be publicly tried and most likely executed by King Herod. His friend and brother in the faith, James had already been killed by Herod.  So Peter is in jail and the church is diligently praying for him. Check this out….

6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”
12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!” (Acts 12:6-14 NIV)

 

This rescue was incredible. I believe that God still does amazing things just like this! I believe that God has the Power and the Resources to rescue me from anything. I do believe that sometimes the journey through the struggle is what equips me to grow and mature in Him. I don’t like pain and I don’t like suffering, but both are part of my life as a human being.  I often wish for miraculous rescue from tough times, pain or struggle. For some reason, God chooses not to rescue me  – but He walks with me through it. His Presence often feels like I’ve been rescued. In fact His Presence reveals that I’m am rescued. I am rescued from the clutches of sin and the destruction that it brings.  I am an individual that has experienced a miracle rescue from certain death. I’m grateful to my Rescuer!

Pressing On!
Dwayne