Are you in need of a rescue? Sometimes life brings storms that knock you down, overwhelm you, and overpower you.
Mark, Kayla, and I went to see Jesus this past Saturday. Well, obviously not the real Jesus, but the production entitled, “Jesus” at the Sight and Sound Theater in Lancaster, PA. It was a wonderfully choreographed performance portraying the rescuing power and love of Jesus!
Scene after scene people faced emptiness, illness, and hopelessness. They faced the storms of this world that the enemy meant for their harm. They had no way of filling their empty nets or their empty stomachs. Many suffered for years with illness, even sought the help of doctors, but didn’t get better. While others hoped for love, only to be left thirsty and condemned. But it was through those very storms Jesus intended to bring them good and to show them His glory!
In the presence of Jesus the winds of doubt and unbelief were calmed, the waves of worry and fear ceased, and the drowning weight of sin was lifted and forgiven. Whatever the need, whatever the storm, Jesus was the Rescuer!
However, there were several stories where there was no rescue, there were some lives that weren’t changed. Some of the people Jesus encountered were proud and didn’t believe they were in need of His help. They had created a reality for themselves that didn’t allow for need. They kept themselves above and separate from the storms of life. But it was deception. Their proud, unbelieving hearts wanted the praise of men and so they did all the “right things” to be admired by others. Meanwhile their hearts were raging with storms of sin; jealousy, hatred, and murder.
Jesus will only rescue those who want to be rescued!
There was a storm raging within me this past year. It began with a pain in my shoulder. I’m not sure the cause, but it seemed to begin when I was mowing the steep hill behind our house. I had pulled the mower backward up the hill and thought that I strained something. The pain continued into the fall and actually became much worse, even to the point that my neck was in constant pain too with some nerve issues causing tingling in my fingers. Of course I googled my symptoms and found several diagnoses, but every time I picked up my phone to call a doctor, I couldn’t make the call.
When I asked God about it I sensed He had a purpose for it. Though it was a storm meant by the enemy for my harm, I believed God would work it together for my good and intended for it to show me that Jesus alone is my Rescuer!
During this time there was another storm raging, a turbulent relationship. I believed there was a connection between these two storms.
I don’t know if it was stubbornness or faith, but as time went on I became confident that God would heal my shoulder and He would calm the turbulent relationship!
So I chose to endure the pain in my shoulder, allowing the pain to remind me to pray about the situations involved in the relationship and to learn how to rely on Jesus alone to bring supernatural rescue.
What I really appreciated about the performance of “Jesus” was the simplicity of rescue as Jesus met the need of every one who came to Him. The only things required of those Jesus rescued were actions of faith.
They needed to lower their nets when they had already fished all night, and they needed to find a couple loaves and fishes, so Jesus could fill their emptiness.
They needed to push through the crowd to touch His robe, and go and wash in the Pool of Siloam to be healed.
And they needed to receive His love and forgiveness to find hope.
This is what I believe God wanted me to learn as I was faced with these storms of life.
The simplicity of rescue requires actions of faith!
I had tried to rescue the relationship on my own…
When the wind and waves brought worry and fear I tried to rescue the relationship with control.
Then when control didn’t work I became frustrated and just wanted to give up altogether.
My attempts of rescue didn’t work.
Just as there was nothing I could do to heal my shoulder, I began to realize there was nothing I could do to calm the turbulent relationship.
Sometimes I felt foolish for putting up with the pain in my shoulder when I knew I could go to a doctor and have it taken care of. But then I would think, as painful as my shoulder is and as much as I want it to feel better, I want even more for this relationship to be healed.
There is a simplicity, almost a foolishness, in the ways Jesus rescues. His rescue is not from man’s perspective or within man’s understanding. Every story in the performance of “Jesus” involved supernatural love, and supernatural power.
And so I chose to take my eyes off the wind and waves and chose instead to look to Jesus. With my eyes on Him, He calmed my worries and fears, and brought peace to my mind. In His presence I could hear His voice tell me the actions of faith I needed to do so that healing and restoration would come.
And now, along with all those who Jesus rescued, I too have a rescue story. Because of those storms I was given the opportunity to stop relying on myself and chose to learn how to rely on Jesus alone! Those crashing waves have become the very things that have made me stronger and braver, they certainly were intended for my good!
And it was by Jesus’ power and love alone that my shoulder is completely healed and the turbulent relationship has been calmed!
Whether you get to go see “Jesus” or not, I pray you will choose to take your eyes off the wind and waves that are crashing over you and put your eyes on Jesus.
For Jesus alone is your Rescuer!