It’s late. Wee hours of the morning to be exact and I can’t sleep. There is a wrestling inside me that stirs deep. The thoughts of the dark, mad world creep in and it’s unsettling.
I’ve been hanging out with friends that are teaching me about prostitution and girls that need a rescue. We weren’t out with Bibles or life rings; no, we’re out with the love of Jesus observing. Learning where they hung out and where they go for money and fixes.
The sites are forever etched in my memory.
Women picked up in the flash of an eye by a man in a big truck.
Women forced to prostitute with their children at their sides.
Women walking the streets craving a drug fix and longing for the customer.
Women giving of their goods in old ran down buildings for the money and a fix.
Communities that are so tightly knit that you know, that they know, you don’t fit in.
While my eye is not trained to spot the prostitute as a familiar partaker would be, I saw. I saw sights that disturbed my thoughts.
The drowning victim is easy to spot. She is flailing, bobbing, and not functioning quiet right. In the Christian sense we’d say she wasn’t living life to the fullest. She’s “living in the dark.”
We spot the drowning girl. And because we are so tuned in to what a Christian SHOULD BE, we immediately know “she needs a rescue.”
We scream and shout, “Somebody throw her a life ring!” Or “Can’t some church stick out the shepherd’s crook for her?” It’s obvious somebody needs to do something.
She needs help. But our hearts tell us that she just needs to put her feet on heavenly land and her eyes on Jesus and she’ll make it. So we all start screaming loudly “HELP, somebody help her! If she’ll just put her eyes on Jesus all will be good again.” We pray our prayers because we want so much for her.
Ah, can you picture it? It was a beautiful save and now she’s living happily ever after. Hand and hand we become the best of friends with Jesus at the center. There’s happy smiles because she is saved and you helped bring her to safety. You wonder if this is what your purpose feels like? Exhilarating at least.
You celebrate the beautiful moment. You sense and visualize this victory like non-other. You pray for it, as it’s pure Christian beauty at it’s core.
But there’s more to this story. There’s a lot that happens between the drowning and the save.
There’s the rescue.
From the moment you recognize there is a drowning ready for the ultimate save — there’s the battle of the rescue. It’s an ugly fought, water-thrashing battle.
You realize there’s a past to be reckoned with.
The demon of a drug usually has to be overcome.
There’s physical abuse that you can’t even stand to hear about for fear you’ll actually visualize it.
You wonder what’s the right way to approach this victim. Is there a right way? It all seems so grey. You continually ask yourself is Christ’s love truly as big as you think it is?
You assure her that she CAN forgive herself for the horrid things of her past. But she swears she CAN’T.
And you both wrestle and fight through the unseen truth that Jesus truly loves even a sinner such as her and yourself. And the hard questions keep coming, are all sins really equal?
The struggle to bring her to safety in Jesus is dirty, ugly, and very messy. It takes every ounce of patience and courage from you.
Life happens in the wrestle.
While you love for life to be wrapped up in a pretty package once someone is saved, it rarely happens that way. There is a relationship that has to happen along the way.
A relationship that builds over time into this beautiful trust. A bond that says, “I haven’t walked in your shoes and you haven’t walked in mine, but let’s wrestle this rescue out to the end.”
Jesus is found in the wrestle. In the messy. Yes, while He is the ultimate Saver, He rarely sees the drowning victim and rescues without a struggle.
There’s a beautiful story found in the midst of the mess.
It’s an amazingly well-worn story that reaches from Genesis to Revelation, but teaches still today:
Jesus is bigger than your past.
Jesus can save the biggest sinner of all because that’s equal to the smallest sin in each of us. [tweet that]
Jesus will wrestle the prince of darkness that haunts you, but you have to let Him.
Jesus defeats battles and addictions daily.
Jesus is the ultimate Saver.
Jesus will win over your past, present, and future again and again!
Jesus never tires.
I’m realizing that the ultimate save is not just about the prostitute. It’s also about the pimp, the lonely man, the girl addicted to drugs and/or the man addicted to sex. It’s about the man abused as a child, not having any idea what love is. It’s about the girl abandoned by all who sees sex as love. It’s about the man and the woman who need a fix. A fix of love, drugs, sex, or whatever it takes to hold on.
It’s about us all!
The ultimate save from the Life-Giver is for her, him, you, and I!
QUESTION: Have you ever seen a rescue? Did you notice the wrestle that had to take place?
After wrestling with the word rescue for months, I decided to bring this word to life. I’ll expose the truths stirring in my soul regarding this daring, venturesome, and fearless word. Oh how I’d love your input too!