Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Wrong Preserver - Martin Wiles

But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Matthew 14:30 NLT
Even if I had grabbed it, I doubt it would have saved me.
As a preteen, I loved fishing with my grandmother on the Santee River. The fact that neither of us could swim didn’t deter us from going. I’m not sure what kind of life preservers existed in the 1970s, but even if fancier ones were around she didn’t buy them.
My grandmother equipped her aluminum boat with a small motor, jugs of water, a bag of sandwiches, a paddle, and poles and bait worms. And finally, lifejackets. If you could call them that. They were no more than cushions with handles sewn on. I’m not sure they would have saved me, but who would have had time to grab one if I was tumbling over the side of the boat?
Fortunately, neither of us ever had to rely on one of her primitive life preservers. We used them to sit on—but for nothing more.
Peter used the wrong preserver as well. Perhaps he thought he was a super disciple—a little better than the others . . . a little closer to Jesus . . . a little higher on the faith totem pole. Until Jesus walked on the water and asked him to join Him. Peter proudly stepped from the boat and did well with his water-walking—until he saw the waves and felt the wind. When he cried out for help, Jesus extended a life preserver.
The preservers available to me when I’m confused or when life takes a detour are numerous: addictive substances, prescription meds, books, counselors, friends, monetary spending. None will preserve my sanity. Some may help, but only if I reach for Christ also. Through prayer, meditation, Bible study, and time spent with mature believers, Jesus helps me make sense of my circumstances.
Jesus never disappoints—as my grandmother’s life preserver surely would have. He casts me a preserver every time I need one, and as often as I need one. He even throws it when I don’t think I need one—when I think I can handle things on my own, as Peter did.
And Christ isn’t selective in who He throws the preserver to. Anyone who calls out, as Peter did, gets a preserver—and a nice one at that.
Don’t let life’s circumstances sink you. Cry out to God, and He’ll throw you the preserver you need.

Prayer: Father, turn our eyes toward You when life’s situations sink us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

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