Friday, June 29, 2012
The Lord stood by me and gave me strength (2 Timothy 4:17)
The angel of the Lord … delivers all who fear God. (Psalm 34:8)
This scene sounds a lot like a suspenseful movie, doesn’t it? A hostage languishes in captivity until a helicopter is heard in the distance. The chopper brings a group of highly skilled forces who enter and snatch the hostage out of the mouth of danger, whisking him to safety.
In today’s readings, both Peter and Paul rejoice in being rescued by God. Peter’s story in the Book of Acts is just as thrilling as a movie: He is miraculously released from his chains and walks past the sleeping soldiers on his way to freedom. And Paul, reflecting on God’s work as he nears the end of his life, tells a no less exciting tale: He was rescued from the lion’s mouth and trusts that, as he remains imprisoned, he will be rescued from every evil threat.
As dramatic as these rescues sound, they also underscore the truth that each of us can rely on God. Of course, we know that we have been rescued from sin and death through Jesus’ resurrection. But if we were to look closely, we would discover numerous day-to-day examples of how God has rescued us. What about that time you were feeling downcast because of some huge problem in your life and the Holy Spirit filled you with hope and lifted your spirits? Or when you realized at the last minute that a decision you were going to make could lead you into sin, and you changed your mind?
Remember that the name Jesus means “God saves.” He didn’t come to save you from sin and then just leave you to figure out the rest of your life. No, he came to show you how to live under his protection. He came so that, even if you did find yourself in a perilous situation, you would not panic but would turn to his Spirit for wisdom and guidance and peace.
Never lose sight of how much Jesus loves you. In prayer today, join with the psalmist and with Peter and Paul in rejoicing in the Lord, who is your Savior today and every day!
“Lord, thank you for having rescued me! Let me walk in joyful hope that you will take care of me today.”