Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Trust and Joy in the Midst of Trouble

“Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation” Habakkuk 3: 17-18, NRSV

This scripture reminds me about something that happened when I was about 8 years old. I took swimming lessons at the YMCA in West Philadelphia, near 52nd and Market Streets. I progressed well enough to move to the deep end of the pool. I was afraid, but I went out on the diving board, closed my eyes, and jumped in anyway. I touched bottom, but couldn’t get to the surface quickly enough. I felt like I was drowning. The lifeguard was watching and put a pole in the water and pulled me out in what seemed to be just in the nick of time.

Sometimes We Need Saving

Some days we may feel overcome by the things life brings our way. Situations or conditions occur that we did not anticipate and cannot resolve by our own efforts alone. We need a lifeguard...one who is watching over us and knows just what we need. Habakkuk prays the prayer of a man overcome by realities his people were facing. So much pain, so much destruction, so little hope. Yet, as he listened to God’s response to his cries, he was reminded that God was watching over them and would not let them be overcome.

Sometimes We are Called to Be the Savior

There are situations and circumstances occurring all over our world that make us want to cry out some days, “How long, O Lord? How long?” News reports of young wives in one Middle Eastern country for whom suicide is preferable to a life of abuse with their husbands. Young people in the U.S. who are giving up on life as a result of being bullied on the internet or at school. And millions still suffering from poverty and its diseases, stresses and pain. Yet, we have a Savior, one who guards our lives and watches over us and all creation. It is our task to grab the pole. The pole of prayer, or the pole of scripture, or the pole of fasting, or the pole of service, or the pole of worship. In this way, we can continue learning how to swim in the shallow and the deep waters of life. We can be witnesses to those struggling or in despair, and help them understand that no matter how difficult things can be, God is with them. We can speak to the powers that be for justice and rightness with God. And we can offer the love that Christ has so freely given to us.

We never know when God will be our lifeguard or use us as a lifeguard for others.

--adapted from a SoulFood article by Bishop Linda Lee, WI Ann Conf

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer
United Methodist Communications

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