Today we wanted to introduce you to our friend Cody Andras and her own personal blog, A Place in His Presence. She is a wise and witty friend of ours. She makes us laugh and think with her words and her wisdom. We felt that her post about needing and wanting to be rescued really resonated with us. We hope that you find it uplifting and inspiring for your lives as well. He really does keep reaching to rescue!
Because We All Need Rescue
Last Friday, some friends and I floated down the Comal River. It’s a big thing to do in Texas, and I never had. It was a lot of fun! It was also a lot of work. I fluctuated back and forth between “I’m so relaxed” and “I’m so exhausted.”
This pretty much summarizes how I was feeling. Half-relaxation. Half-exhaustion.
There are a million stories I could tell you about the day. How I forgot my bag with my clothes, my wallet and pretty much everything else important. How two of us fell into the river trying to do headstands on our tubes. How I busted the bottom of my tube trying to stand in it to open a cooler. How the fireflies came out at dinner right after someone asked if we had them. How it made us remember what a good Father we have. How two of us drove home too late at night and had the most delirious of serious conversations.
But the story I most want to tell you is about the three laps I swam around this place called “the chute.” Because it made me mad, and I need to talk about it.
The Comal River has manmade “rapids,” which are basically concrete water slides. We floated the same part of the river three times, so we went down the rapids three times. At the bottom, all the currents converge, and it throws freezing cold water over you, and it takes your breath away. Then you immediately have to paddle or else you get stuck in the wrong current and end up floating the wrong way up the river, which isn’t really a problem so much as an inconvenience.
The first time, one friend’s tube got flipped, and a lifeguard dove in to help her back up. Think lifeguard-dive, perfect arch, boy-saves-the-girl, dramatic rescue.
The third time, the river was crowded and we were tired, and I got separated from the group and went down the chute with eight strangers who had hooked themselves together. Oh, and my tube was tied to our cooler-tube, so it was basically eight strangers, the cooler and me.
This is what happens when it’s one against eight—they get the good current, and you and the cooler wash upstream.
I’m thinking: not a problem, I’ll just paddle back into the right current and ride it around again. It was a good theory. It was harder in practice. I eventually got out of my tube, held onto it and proceeded to swim three large laps against the river’s current while dragging my tube and the cooler. It was a little bit exhausting.
And the whole time I’m thinking, where are my friends? And eventually I’m thinking, forget my friends, where is the lifeguard with the fancy dive? [And my mind’s tone was not the friendliest.]
I finally caught the right current and made it to the other side, where I found my friends waiting. On my way to them, I passed a park ranger, who looked at me and said, “You’re very strong. Most people would have given up a long time ago.”
So you’ve just been watching me struggle?! Cue an internal battle between tears and a snarky comeback, which ended with silence and a blank stare.
I rejoined the group. I was with some of my very best friends, so my guard was down and my words were honest:
“I’m fine…I’m just super annoyed.”
Thankfully they love me. We left it at that, and I climbed into my tube, and I kept thinking about that perfect lifeguard-dive and how I wanted to have been rescued. And then I ate some carrots, propped my feet up on a friend’s tube and decided to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
For the record: these were not the rapids!
Here’s the thing. I didn’t need to be rescued. I wasn’t drowning. I wasn’t even scared. I was just tired. And I felt forgotten. And I felt defeated. And no one helped me. And I didn’t really need them to. But somehow the combination of all of that made me really frustrated, like legitimately angry with everyone involved, even though I knew there wasn’t anything they could have or should have done.
We are strong and capable people. We can handle a lot of what life throws our way, and especially when I look around this world, I can convince myself that my problems are small, my sins are overlookable, and my ability far surpasses any obstacle I’m currently facing.
I keep thinking God is teaching me to handle this life on my own.
He keeps reaching to rescue.
I keep swimming three laps and crawling back into my tube, wet and weary and annoyed. I keep wishing for the lifeguard dive and the dramatic save.
He keeps reaching to rescue.
Because as much as we want to be strong and independent, we also want arms to pull us from the current. We want a hand to reach out and grab onto ours. We want someone to do it for us or at the very least with us. We want someone to speak up for us, to defend us, to fight for us.
And maybe we want those things because He created us to need those things.
We have this Advocate (1 John 2:1). We have this God who says He’ll fight for us (Exodus 14:14). We have this Redeemer whose arm is not too short to save (Isaiah 59:1); we’re not out of His reach. We have this Savior who keeps reminding us that we need saving (Romans 3:23).
He keeps reaching to rescue.
I don’t know exactly what that means in practice. I just want to know Him like that. For real. Not just in theory.
I want to recognize His rescue. I want to cry out for it. I want to remember that I need it.