2 Corinthians 1:10 (AMP) 10 He rescued us from so great a threat of death, and will continue to rescue us. On Him we have set our hope. And He will again rescue us [from danger and draw us near],
My family and I boarded our boat and drove it out from the marina into the open waters. We set our clocks and arrived by 10:00 on Friday, July 3rd, so we could enjoy a less crowded time on the water. Within 15 minutes, we discovered a cove that probably extended for a mile. We knew we’d want to return there when we were ready to swim.
After a couple of hours of tubing around the lake and seeing crowds gather for a presidential parade on the lake with flags flying on at least 30 or more pontoon boats, we decided to pull back into the quiet cove. At last, we dropped our anchor. My family swam while I relaxed under the shade on the boat. An occasional breeze cooled me off, but it truly was in the mid 90’s and really hot. After an hour or so, we deflated the tube and my husband turned the key to start the boat only to hear nothing but a clicking sound. That’s right, nothing happened. Our boat and us became stranded.
My husband worked with the batteries on board but realized that both of them were dead. Finally, he decided to have me call the marina for a tow boat. My cell phone service would not work on my phone so thankfully, it functioned on my husband’s phone. He tried to describe our location as he shared that we were in a really long cove about 15 minutes from the marina. In reality, we could not tell the person on the phone our exact location. The marina helper said, “We’re helping someone else and don’t know how long it will be before we get there.”
At this point, my head hurt and the waves of some other boats who came back into the cove to drag their tubes would rock our boat. The boat would turn causing the shield of the canvas cover to no longer protect us from the heat. So, my husband jumped back into the water to wait for the tow boat. My daughters and I sat and waited. Fortunately, we had packed lots of water and some snacks which helped pass the time. I did not panic but knew that it could take several hours before we’d see the tow boat.
After an hour, thankfully, we could see the tow boat coming toward us! The one guy on board the tow boat pulled his boat right beside of us and then threw us a rope. My husband connected it to the front of the boat and we began to be pulled behind the towboat. The towing felt like slow motion replay. I could see other boaters looking at us as I’m sure you don’t normally see two boats so close together on the lake. The tow boat driver drug our boat to the dock then we tied it up so we could disembark. After being on the boat for seven hours, my legs wobbled as I stood on the dock and carried bags to the car.
At the marina, we knew the mechanics could take a look at the boat during the next week and determine if the battery needed replacing or if there could be some other issue like the Starter or the Alternator. All I knew, is that it was 5:00 and time to head home.
The boat’s failure and our need of a rescue replayed in my mind for the next day. My husband had charged the battery at home so there were two batteries on board, but something went wrong. They could not bring life to our boat. This boat’s propeller failed last summer and needed replacing while we were on vacation and now this. He had bought the boat knowing it was a fixer upper and after the propeller repair, he had it fully serviced at a boat repair shop during the winter. We had been on the lake a couple of other times in June so it bewildered me as to why it just decided to not function.
Sometimes, like the boat, our circumstances strand us leaving us in need of rescuer. Our boat’s rescue required me to patiently wait while hot and with a headache from being a spotter who held on for dear life through the bumpy lake waters while watching my children tube. In a world where a phone usually works, it disturbed me that my phone would not connect to the marina but knew that God had provided my husband’s phone to work when mine would not work. I prayed for the wind to blow and provide a breeze to help cool us off while we waited. Even though I could’ve jumped into the lake with my life jacket on, I chose to be still and just wait.
The tow boat coming alongside of us made all of the difference. We had to make a connection and hook our boat to the tow boat. The act of connecting to the other boat allowed our rescue to begin.
I know that the apostle Paul endured hardships in his ministry and see that he needed rescuing at times too. In 2 Corinthians 1:10, he uses the word “rescue” three times in various ways . Not only does he state that God rescued him from the threat of death but he says that God will continue to rescue him. Perhaps the most faith filled sentiment in this verse is when Paul writes, “On Him have we set our hope.”
On Jesus, have we set our hope? Or, are we hoping for answers in other people, places and things? 1 Peter 1:3 (ESV) proclaims, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” As a Believer, I live in great expectation that the Holy Spirit is in me, with me and all around me. I can be assured that God’s Grace can be trusted when I read 1 Peter 1:13 (ESV) “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Unlike the tow boat guy, the Holy Spirit didn’t have to search for us because He already knew our location on the lake. In our lives, He knows where we are and is coming alongside of us to provide help. The question is, “Will we accept the hope from Jesus?” Even with the stares of the other boaters, I knew we would eventually get back to safety. God wants us to not worry about what the other people around us will think if we connect with Jesus and live lives according to His Word. He allows the choice to follow Him.
Have you ever felt stranded in your plans, in your relationships or in your job? During the quarantine due to the Covid 19 pandemic, I sometimes have been alone, stranded from the shore of Normal. Stranded is a lonely place but it is also a place where God allows us in His great mercy to choose Him. The Rescuer, Jesus, died and rose again to redeem our lives from eternal death. We can know that not only he is our Rescuer from Hell, but also is our Rescuer from the hopelessness in our world today. The wrath of the Coronavirus is real but so is God’s hope. When I encourage you to hope in the Lord, I am not referring to wishful thinking but a solid foundation which will guide you into all truth and provide comfort.
Paul ends in 2 Corinthians 1:10 by saying the God will again rescue us from death and draw us near. I can tell you that I, as a passenger on our boat, could feel the tow boat drawing us near once our boats connected with the rope. My heart rejoiced when I no longer had to wonder when the help would arrive but could feel the rescue begin. Are you ready for your rescue? In our time when mental health needs to be taken care of now more than ever, I pray that you will pray and ask Jesus to help you wherever you are. It could be that you just need the reminder that God will draw you near. Realizing that He provides the help, not ourselves, is always the first step toward the rescue.