A family was out vacationing at the lake one summer. Dad had been relaxing out by the boat house. Two of his sons, a 12-year old and a 3-year old were down playing along the dock. The 12 year old was supposed to be watching his little brother, but he got distracted. The 3 year old, little Billy, thought that would be a good time to check out the shiny aluminum fishing boat tied up at the end of the dock. So he went to the dock and put one foot on the boat, and one foot on the dock. He lost his balance and fell into the water, which was about 5 or 6 ft deep. The splash alerted the 12-yr old who let out a piercing scream. Dad came running from the boat house, jumped into the water, swam down, but unable to see anything, came up for air. Sick with panic, he went right back down into the murky water, and began to feel everywhere around the bottom. He couldn’t feel anything.
Have you ever felt panic like that? Helpless? Hopeless? Maybe you’ve had a child go missing… or maybe for you it was something else. Your spouse was caught cheating… Your medical tests come back postive… Your boss has to let you go and you are the only income… The kind of thing that “only happens to other people” has happened to you… and you panic.
I’m not just talking worry… I’m talking about full-fledged shake-in-your-boots panic. Your heart races, your knees weaken, your ability to think clearly leaves you…
This can’t really be happening.
Where is God?
Will I ever feel better?
Why does this always happen to me?
Where is God?
Why do I hurt so badly?
Make it stop.
I can’t take it anymore.
Where is God?
We’ve all asked questions like that. We don’t want to admit that we’ve panicked but it happens. What does God do when my life turns upside down?
Look at today’s verse…
“But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13-14
Here you have the Israelites being chased by the Egyptians. The latter were far more prepared…equipped…and organized. Moses’ crew didn’t have much, but he reminded them of the size and strength of their God. I love the first thing Moses tells them to do.
Be calm. Moses says, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today… The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. “
All too often, tranquility and patience are not our first reaction to crisis. Panic seems to fit better. Worry, fear, and dread are much more comfortable companions… as if any of those could improve the situation. No, they are what our flesh tells us we need to do. They’ve never helped us before but there’s always a first time, right? Our story doesn’t end with panic… let’s read the rest… as the dad dove down for the last time…
On his way up, he felt little Billy’s arms locked in a death grip on one of the posts of the dock, about 4 ft under water. Prying the boy’s fingers loose, they burst up together through the surface to fill their lungs with life-giving air.
Finally when the adrenaline had stopped surging, and nerves had calmed down a little bit, the father asked his son, “What on earth were you doing down there hanging onto the post so far under the water? And little Billy’s answer was a classic, laced with the wisdom only a toddler could give. He said, “I was just waiting for you, Dad. Just waiting for you.”
The little boy didn’t give up. He just hung on and stayed calm. He knew his dad was coming for him. Today, I want you to remember the same thing. Is your life in crisis? Feeling tossed around…beaten up…forgotten? Have you been waiting for rescue for so long you’ve begun to doubt? Your Dad is coming for you, too….
Today, commit to wait on your Heavenly Father… He’ll be there. You will be lifted up, pulled out, and brought back. Rescue is on the way. God Himself will fight for you… just keep hanging on.