“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Matthew 25:35-36 (ESV)
It all happened in a matter of seconds.
We stormed through the hotel pool’s gate with kids, towels, floaties and a stroller. Still wearing my street clothes, I played pool police while my husband, Luke, secured the little ones into life jackets.
Our 4-year-old son, who knows how to swim, waded down the steps with confidence. But this marked our first time at the pool since the previous summer, and time took its toll on Micah’s memory. He’d forgotten how to swim, but didn’t realize it until it was too late.
I spotted him first and shouted, “Luke! Micah!”
Since my husband stood only a few steps away, sporting a swimsuit, I figured he was the guy for the job. I assumed my tone would communicate the urgency of the situation and expected Luke to hop right in and rescue Micah.
But he didn’t.
Luke looked at me confused. He didn’t see Micah. He didn’t know what was happening. And every second I waited for my husband to save our son, Micah struggled to breathe.
I stood steps away, knowing he needed help. But because I reasoned someone else was more prepared or better suited for the job, I did nothing.
I share one of my worst moments as a mother because I often see the same struggles in our spiritual lives. We see someone drowning and, with good intentions, wait for the “right” person for the job.
But God put us in front of the ones who need air. We see them with our eyes. We understand the need. God chose us for these jobs. And while we wait for an expert to jump in, someone is drowning.
Like the new girl at Bible study who unloaded her burdened heart into the middle of our comfortable circle.
Just minutes earlier, I had greeted her with a smile and tried to make her feel comfortable. I didn’t know much about her, so I asked questions to ease the newness of it all. We grabbed some goodies then shuffled into the living room, where the group gathered in our usual circle.
We shared and prayed and pondered God’s Word and will for our lives.
Then the dam broke. The headache in the heart of this new face made her wince as the words poured out of her mouth. Floods of self-doubt and confusion gushed through the gaping hole in her soul.
She described the uncertainty of new things, the unsettled places of old things and the unraveling of too many things. When the words ran out and the tears came close to spilling over, she lowered her head and pleaded, “I just need to know what to do.”
And we all sat silent.
The girl who invited her should be the one to say something, I reasoned. Or surely the leader of the group will shed light on her situation. Or at least someone who’s known her longer than five minutes! I thought to myself.
Everyone else must have rationalized the same way I did. Because not one of us offered a life preserver or anything to help keep her head above water.
In today’s key verse, Jesus paints the picture of the day we stand before God. He says people will ask Him, “When did we see you hungry and feed you? Or when did we see you naked and give you clothes?”
In Matthew 25:40 Jesus shares the startling truth, “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (ESV)
Thankfully, my son Micah’s story ends brighter than the woman at Bible study. That day at the pool, a stranger rescued my son. He saw Micah drowning and took action. I wish it had been me, but I thank God for that man who chose not to hesitate.
The Bible study visitor never returned. She likely left disappointed and embarrassed. I pray God uses someone else to draw her to Him. I wish it had been me.
I urge you today, if you see someone drowning, jump into the water. Grab them by the hand and guide them to the only true Life Preserver. Whatever you do for them, you do also for the King of Kings.
Lord Jesus, give me the courage to jump. I want to be Your vessel who brings hope and rest to those You love. Give me Your eyes and help my arms be like Yours and reach for those who are sinking. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 2:12b-13, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.” (HCSB)
2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (NIV)
Do you long to write powerful words that are memorable and life changing to someone in need of God’s hope? Today’s devotion author, Katy McCown, is a member of COMPEL, a resource for those who want to write words that move people. Click here to learn more or become a member of COMPEL today.
Proverbs 31 Ministries also hosts She Speaks, an annual training conference for writers and speakers. You’re invited to join us in Charlotte this July 23-25, 2015, for a unique combination of spiritual inspiration and practical application.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Take inventory of the places where you spend time and make a list of people around you who might be sinking beneath rough waters. Ask God to show you how you can offer His hand of hope.
Considering 2 Timothy 3:16-17, what’s one thing you can do today to feel better equipped to for the good works God has in store for you?
© 2015 by Katy McCown. All rights reserved.