Linking up with everyone for Five Minute Friday, where a remarkably encouraging and loving community gathers to write for five minutes. This week’s prompt is: DIVE.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and our families ventured to a water park complete with large inner tubes to float down the lazy river. Super size slides and water tunnels did not intimate the adults sliding down right after their children. The large swimming area with a few cascading waterfalls and smooth rock side finish gave the effect of a mountain pool. There were a few life guards but with so many children and adults splashing and making happy noises, they did not see a child struggling in the deep end of the pool, very close to the water fall. She was frantically trying to get to the side of the pool and the look on her face was that of fear and terror She went under and kicked herself back up for air and struggled more. I shouted to the life guards to HELP but my voice could not penetrate through the noise.
The only voice that was penetrating through the noise was that of my own voice…in my head that said, DIVE!
And I did. I swam to her and she saw me coming. When I was close enough she began grabbing for me for her safety. She was struggling and I feared we would both go under the water.
STOP FIGHTING ME! I shouted. TRUST ME! She stopped flailing her arms long enough for me to quickly turn her around and slide my left arm under hers and kicked and pulled through the water with my right arm…we made it to the ladder on the other side of the pool. I was breathless. Relieved. She was rescued.
Sometimes helping friends in need is risky. It may cost you something of great value. It may require you to DIVE into their mess and unknown struggles to rescue them from serious consequences. DIVE in and call out for God the rescuer to help you both find peace and safety.
Sometimes we struggle against others helping us. We fight against what is good and right. Sometimes we don’t trust our helper because we are drowning in fear, pain, worry and hopelessness.
Stop struggling against God. You’re gasping for air and Jesus says, “TRUST ME! I am the great RESCUER! I will DIVE in for you. I have already been to the depths for you. Stop struggling against ME…I love you with an everlasting love. I will rescue you!”
|“Tosha walking down a winding path full of uncertainties and high Austrian Mountains ahead, but one he knows will lead him home, for it’s daddy’s path and Tosha knows & trusts me completely.”
~photo credits and used by permission: David Beatty
One photograph that is filled with thousands of words. This is the first of many notes to come using some of those words; the first of many thoughts that come to mind when I look at this photo.
A little boy walking blissfully on a path that twists and turns. The towering mountain in the distance looks ominous, yet there he goes, holding his sticks, walking confidently. The path twists and turns and he cannot see what lies ahead around the bend, but he is unfettered by fear and anxiety. He knows that his father is with him. He knows that his father chose this path for him to explore. This is an adventure!
This is my adventure, too. I’m like that little boy who is walking on a path of twists and turns…named Children’s Ministry. I see the mountain ahead and wonder if there is anyway to go around it or if necessary, will I have the wits and strength to climb up it. Sometimes there is confidence and unfettered resolve to charge ahead around that bend of unknown but often that confidence and resolve is stumbling along that path, tripping on the stones and ruts along the way. There is a bit of fear and anxiety when I face the mountain of details…the mountain of staffing needs…the mountain of time needed to give…
I know my Father is with me. I know my Father chose this path for me to explore. I am confident that I am on the right path. I begin to pray with confidence. I am praying for myself, though. It’s all about me again. Here I go again, needing everything and everyone to orbit around my needs…including God. Children’s Ministry is not about me. Children’s Ministry is all about children, ministering to children for the glory of God. Children’s Ministry is about serving families and becoming a servant leader with many volunteers. Children’s Ministry does not belong to me.
My prayers shift to praying for you, Children’s Ministry. There are other people on that path in the photo. I imagine them in front of me around the corner leading the way. I imagine them trusting God to lead them down this same adventurous path that I walk on. I imagine them following me; looking up at that same mountain and praying for Children’s Ministry too.
…while we might commend this duty by quoting innumerable examples from the lives of eminent saints, it is enough for the disciple of Christ if we say that Christ in His holy gospel has made it your duty and your privilege to intercede for others. When he taught us to pray, he said, “Our Father,” and the expressions which follow are not in the singular but in the plural–“Give us this day our daily bread.” “Forgive us out debts”; “Lead us not into temptation;” evidently intending to set forth that none of us are to pray for ourselves alone…”
~from the sermon “Intercessory Prayer” delivered on August 11, 1861, by Charles H. Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London
Praying for YOU, Children’s Ministry!