Yesterday I was listening to a news story about an American couple who were vacationing on the island of St. Maarten when Hurricane Irma made landfall. They spoke of their harrowing ordeal, the destruction of their hotel, and eventually their rescue.
Think about what it means to be rescued. Here, maybe this will help... think about the greatest rescue movies of all time. What would be on your list? Here's a short list of mine:
1. Schindler's List - I mean come on, this has to be number one.
2. Black Hawk Down - more than just a guy flick
3. Last of the Mohicans - "whatever shall occur... I will find you!"
4. The Searchers - classic John Wayne movie
5. Taken - Liam Neeson comes for his daughter and kills everyone else
6. Castaway - Tom Hanks & Wilson traverse the ocean
7. Rambo I, II, III, IV, Whatever
Every one of these movies taps into something that is at the heart of each of us---when we are in trouble, when the way forward isn't clear, we want to know that Liam Neeson is going to wreck Paris to find us. Or Daniel Day Lewis is going to don his leather leggings, prime his musket and run up an impossibly tall mountain to save us.
We want to know that when we need help, that help is on the way.
Oswald Chambers once wrote that "Simplicity is the secret to seeing things clearly." And the simple truth about God is that God is faithful and ever-loving. The Hebrew word for this kind of rescuing love is hesed, which can be translated "never-ending, never-failing, always-present, loving-kindness."
Our doubts and fears often complicate and cloud our vision, and can leave us despairing in the middle of what we perceive as dire circumstances.
But when we simply surrender ourselves to the ever-present, never-ending hesed of God, we often find the clarity that we need in order to see our dire circumstances as opportunities to trust in God, who is never far away.
If you are in despair today, do not fear, beloved. Help is near. Trust in the hope that flickers in your spirit. It's evidence of God's incredible hesed.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.