He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me on the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me. (2 Samuel 22:17-20)
This is a song of praise from David after the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. While you may have your own picture in your mind about what this scene looks like, when I read these verses, I envision something like a lifeguard. Why? Lifeguards carefully, thoughtfully, and vigilantly protect those in their care by watching the water and keeping an eye out for trouble. If someone happens to be in distress, these lifeguards are quick to act and call on their training and knowledge to help.
Living in Florida, we're surrounded by water, and lifeguards are always around at places like the beach or your local YMCA pool. For those of us who are comfortable in the water and know how to swim, we may think we have to pay less attention to them. In fact, as this year's Olympic Games begin, one place you might not even consider that lifeguards would be is the pool deck, watching over professional athletes. During coverage of the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, I watched as a lifeguard stood on the pool deck at each event and I thought, "How easy is that job? These are Olympic swimmers!"
Over the next few weeks during the Tokyo Olympics, I ask that you look for the lifeguard on the pool deck and remember this: we all need a lifeguard, someone who like David said will draw us out of deep not because it’s their job but because He delights in us. That's what the Lord does: reaches down in our deepest and messiest moments and saves us out of His love for us. God does this not because He is obligated to but because He loves us unconditionally and eternally. It can be difficult to remember this when we feel like we have let our friends, family, coworkers, or even ourselves down. Sometimes it feels as if we are barely treading life’s waters, but there is grace for you. God will always be there, continuing to rescue us from the dark and bringing us into the light. We can have hope for tomorrow even in the trials of today. What a great God we serve!