So last week I was reading Psalm 18 and vs. 19 stuck out to me: “He rescued me because He delighted in me.” I was struck with two words – rescue and delight. I like being rescued. It brings me delight.
My penchant for needing rescued began at an early age. The house where I grew up (before we moved when I was 11) had a huge farm field behind it. You had to go out our backyard, cross the grass in the field behind the houses (maybe 30 yards wide), and go down a small hill at the tree line to get to the farmer’s field. I remember one day, after it had been raining that week, one or two of my siblings took a walk into the farm field. I don’t remember if we were chasing a ball or a Frisbee that escaped or what. I just remember walking out across the field. We completed our mission and turned back and after a few steps my little legs got stuck in the mud. I was in over my ankles and the choice was to either stay put, cry, and hope my life didn’t end there (because 8-10 year olds are dramatic ya know) or walk back home across the muddy field in either bare feet or stocking feet. While details are sketchy I remember staying put (kind of like being glued in place) and watching my brilliant Dad come across the field putting a piece of wood in front of him, stepping on it to keep himself from sinking, and taking another piece and laying it on the mud – or to me, quicksand – and continuing the process until he reached me, picked me out of the mud and mire and set me securely on high (hmmm….where I have I read that before?!). Or at least it was high to me….higher than I was with my ankles stuck in the mud.
And then there was the time in Lampe, MO while I was working at Kanakuk Kamp. I had a day off so I went to the lake and went wind surfing. Or so I thought. It was more like wind…floating. And floating. And drifting. Around the bend. Out of sight. In the middle of Table Rock Lake. For at least an hour. Until it was getting late. And what to my listening ear did appear than the sound of the Dock Daddy in his boat coming to…you got it….rescue me. That was the end of my windsurfing career.
And then there was the time my life went off track after my parents’ divorce. And I mean OFF! I was NOT in a good place. AT ALL! Not eating. Drinking. Putting up walls while the depression got deeper. I had a couple friends from church who made sure they had food around every time I visited. They broke what I called the “270 Barrier” (I270 because I lived about 20 minutes north of 270). They never used the word but they knew I was broken and falling apart. I needed a rescue.
Funny because that next winter I was on a ski discipleship trip with Kanakuk. We went to Crested Butte, CO. I got out there early so I got to hit the slopes sooner. Except….it was only my 2nd time on skis. The first time was when I was in grad school in MN. I made 2 trips down the beginner slope and had to accompany a student to the hospital. Yeah….I was skilled and experienced! In fact I was SO experienced and confident (proud?) that I went up the ski lift to a green slope, almost feel down getting off the lift, and decided I was going to ski down. I remembered how to snow plow. How much more could there be to it?! Let’s just say I found out there was a LOT more when I walked down the last part of the slope after falling a number of times. Yes, that was me….side stepping as I WALKED down the ski slope…right under the operating ski lift! Yep….classic.
But what I didn’t know was God was in the process of rescuing me. Physically, spiritually, and emotionally. And I needed rescued in every aspect. I needed rescued from myself. I had become my own worst enemy.
A dear friend with whom I had lost touch and just regained it was the guest speaker on the trip. Through a very special in depth conversation with him the last day of the trip, God ‘sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.’ (Ps. 18:16-17). In short….He RESCUED me.
I could go on and on, because, unfortunately, I have given myself LOTS of stories to tell on myself that all have to do with being rescued. You’d think by now I would’ve figured out why I keep getting myself into predicaments where I’m at the mercy of others, unable to help myself and dependent on the kindness of others to save me from myself. Or at least from my choices. And the consequences of those choices.
So if I had to try to explain the problem, what would I say? I have one word that keeps coming back to mind. Can you guess it? NO….stupidity is NOT it! LOL
It comes down to pride. “I won’t get stuck in the mud.” “I know how to ski…I can handle it.” “How hard can it be to wind surf? I can handle it.” “I’m dieing on the inside but I can’t let on….what would people think? I can pull myself up by my bootstraps. I’ll make it.”
I will now be the first to tell you I don’t have it together. I need to be rescued – more often than I like to admit, but nonetheless, rescued. Because like most humans, I tend to think a little more highly of myself than I should (hmmm…that sounds opposite what we read in Philippians 2 about having the same attitude as Christ). See – just goes to show you my need of being rescued.
And while it’s easy to say ‘yeah, Jesus Christ is absolutely crazy about me’, it’s harder to say “I got myself in over my head and I need help.” No one likes to ask for help. And why is that? What did I say my problem was / is? Hmmm…could it be your problem too?! Pride!
But that brings me back to Psalm 18. There’s a nugget wrapped inside that verse that I am just recently starting to enjoy and think on and even share with others. Can you guess it? It’s not being rescued. Oh, that’s there, but the nugget is the REASON God rescues me….and you.
GOD DELIGHTS IN YOU, AND GOD DELIGHTS IN ME!
When you think of ‘delight’ what do you see? I see a little kid shrieking in joy at just having fun playing in the field. I see a childlike innocence…like chasing bubbles on a sunny day. And I see the look of a parent watching their kids from a distance and just enjoying their innocence and wonder. That’s what I think about when I think about ‘delight.’ And God delights in me! He smiles at my ‘antics’ and loves my childlike curiosity – even when it leaves me stranded in the mud or in the middle of the lake. He loves my sense of adventure…even when it leads to me walking down the side of a mountain on skis (as an aside, by the time the weekend was done I was SKIING down that slope and others without issue or falls…even hit a couple small bumps to practice getting a little air!).
So when I read that God rescues me because He delights in me…well…that just makes my heart sing! God doesn’t just love me…He DELIGHTS in me!
I’m learning how to keep the pride in check so I don’t end up getting stranded as often. No one likes to have to ask for help…to be rescued…but I can tell you when I get past myself and accept the fact that I need rescued, I’m happy and thankful Someone cares enough to rescue me…no matter the predicament in which I find myself.
God is just so good – He can rescue you when held captive by 6″ of mud, surrounded by deep water in the middle of a lake, or even on the side of a mountain. And He laughs in delight – not AT me, but with me, finding the humor in it, knowing He can get me out of any jam I find myself. I can handle that kind of delight!
And you know what…God DELIGHTS in you!