"A Close God"
January 19, 2009
But You, O Lord, do not be far off! O You my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! Save me from the mouth of the lion! Psalm 22:19-21a
I've never seen a sixteen-and-a-half-foot shark close up. I don't want to.
Hannah Mighall probably wishes she hadn't.
Hannah was surfing in Tasmania when such a shark got hold of her. It dragged her under. It threw her around. Then, when all hope seemed lost, with the help of her cousin Syb Mundy, she managed to get away.
Syb pulled her onto his surfboard and caught a wave that carried them to the shore where she received help, stitches, and a new lease on life.
Looking back on the frightening event, Mr. Mundy said, "I'm not religious, but there was a perfect wave that came just in the nick of time that must have been sent by God."
In reply, I feel compelled to say this: "Maybe it's time for Mr. Mundy to become religious. More specifically, it's time for him to give some thought to that time when he won't be able to use his surfboard to get away from death."
In truth, death is coming for each of us. For some it will come like a shark; others will see its arrival through a stroke or heart attack or accident or . . . . Well, a short devotion doesn't have time to begin to cover the ways death can come for us.
Since the Lord knew death was coming for each of us, the heavenly Father sent His Son to offer Himself as a ransom for our salvation. So that death wouldn't have the last word, Jesus allowed Himself to die on the cross. Now, because of His third-day resurrection, all who believe on Him know they are saved.
Even more, we know that our loving, living Lord will always be by our sides. As the writer of the Psalms said, "But You, O Lord, do not be far off! O You my help, come quickly to my aid! Save me from the mouth of the lion" -- or shark -- or an accident in rush hour traffic!
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks You are never far from me. For the numerous times I have been rescued by Your grace, my deepest thanks. Now, may I trust in Your ongoing protection. In Your Name. Amen.
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Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries