A Safe Place

Friday, June 21, 2019
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Nearer My God To Thee"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 10:1 – And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. (NKJV)

Luke 10:1-3,17 – After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, "The harvest truly is great but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. … Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name." (NKJV)

John 15:18,20a – If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. Remember the word that I said to you, "A servant is not greater than his Master." If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. (NKJV)

2 Corinthians 4:7-9 – But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. (NKJV)

Because I was an athlete in my younger years, God often uses sporting illustrations to teach me spiritual truths — they resonate with me. I was reminded of one of those when we took the grandkids to the swimming pool during March break. It's a very nice pool. There's a kiddie pool with a hot tub attached. The water is warm for the little ones. It's adults only in the hot part. The big pool has a shallower end and a deep end. There's a slide, a Tarzan rope, and a springboard — lots of fun, for some.

I looked around at all the different kinds of people using the pool. Little ones are in the kiddie pool, learning to enjoy the water. But a nine-year-old, who should be taking his swimming test, is there with his little brother. He doesn't like the colder water and the other kids splashing around in the big pool. Grandpa is in the hot tub keeping an eye on them. He's not a swimmer and likes the heat also. Older kids and adults are in the shallower end playing around. Some are working on their skills, but some just don't swim well. Noodles, flutter boards, and balls to toss are their fun. Then, there are teenage girls, who can swim well, but are sitting at the deep end, feet in the water. They are talking and prefer not to get their hair wet. Then, there are the keeners, going down the slide, swinging on the swing, doing flips off the springboard, and diving for rings. They are making the most of their experience!

It's kind of like the church. What? Some never darken the door. Some dabble. Some tread water. Some keep a presence but don't get involved. Some are in there with their whole hearts. Yes, I see it. Then, the Lord showed me that the big pool, the kiddie pool, and the hot tub are safe places, like the church building. The real challenge is in the open water. I felt the fear that I had known as a child, swimming in the lake. Something brushed by me in the water. The unknown. Am I safe? Going out into the world with the gospel? Scary.

I've been pondering this ever since. The real challenge is to take our skill, our faith, out into our community and to be God's presence there. But will we? Will we conquer our fear and go out with His Spirit to fulfill our mission in our own communities?

Prayer: Lord, we like to be safe. Sharing our faith with people can be scary. We don't know what their reaction will be. And this is something that we aren't skilled at. Help us, Lord! Teach us. We know that You will be with us. Grant us courage to be faithful in this mission to share You with our community, no matter what the cost, for Your glory's sake. Amen.

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About the author:

Nan St. Louis <nanstlouis1@sympatico.ca>
Durham, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great analogy, Nan!

    Thanks, Nan, for the great reminder.

    Thank you, Nan for a thoughtful devotional.

    Thank you. You brought this message home in a powerful way.

    Great illustration of church and the Kingdom. Thanks.

    Nan, thank you for the motivating and encouraging devotional. Blessings.

    Yes! Let’s share the good news and not be shy about it! Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

    Thanks for the reminder to us to carry Jesus’ message to friends and neighbours,

    A precious devotional, Nan.
    Thank you.
    Keep writing.

    Great analogy, Nan! I love that you have “eyes to see” as you live out your faith.

    Thank you, Nan.
    I really enjoyed your devotion.
    It really clicked with me in my deep thoughts.
    Keep well, and blessing,

    What you say is so true and we flounder a bit, we Presbyterians in our small community in Texas. We have a community outreach program, etc., but still, we do not do all we should, and I am among those in that boat.
    Thanks for writing, Nan.

    Hi Nan,
    Your pool illustrations were so vivid and colorfully written that mentally I envisioned being in each section of the pool with the different swimmers.
    Thank you for sharing today and for encouraging us to go outside our comfort zone to share the wonderful message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

    Hi Nan
    This is such a good devotional, thought-provoking and encouraging. Our pastor was talking about this on Sunday in fact he used one of the same scriptures and how Jesus sent them out. This is the vision of our church, scary but oh so rewarding when we look at the big picture!
    God bless.

    Hello Nan,
    I enjoyed and appreciated your devotional today. Your comparison of situations at the pool compared with connection to church was right on! Yes, it does take bravery to step out in public spreading the word of our loving God but knowing He is with us gives us the courage to go forward.
    Blessings for your writing.

    Hi Nan:
    What a great analogy! I will remember it.
    We Christians are just like that. I started saying “God bless you” to be all people I came across. Some have even said back, “I haven’t heard that in a long time”, and they are pleased it was said to them. It’s not always easy but I am going to continue on. When a woman, who I was trying to calm down yesterday, asked how I got over my anxiety, I said I do have medication for it, but I believe and trust in the Lord. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go on longer as my Dart’s ride came. I will continue on.
    God bless you Nan and may He strengthen you and bless you for His great work.

    Thank you! So true.

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