Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Where Cross The Crowded Ways Of Life"1 (Lyrics)
When I was a kid in the 1950s, there was unfortunately no air conditioning except in the dime store uptown to escape to and hide in until the onslaught of blistering temperatures subsided. So, when summer did not offer any relief from the sultry afternoons in central Illinois, carloads of people headed for "the spot", a fun destination on the lake near us where many people went swimming. Sitting on a blanket on the bank, parents kept a watchful eye on those they brought — usually their own kids as well as the neighbour's kids. Bobbing heads were everywhere, to the point that I'm sure that it was hard to keep track of everyone, and eyes strained to keep up.
I remember one such day in my life when I could well have been a casualty of this chaotic scene. I couldn't swim, but I walked happily to the warm water with the crowd that was already splashing about with great fun and laughter. Bobbing with the waves, I did not realize that I was getting out over my head. My little toes reached to touch the muddy bottom, but in vain. I realized that the safety of the shallower water was several feet toward the bank. Among so many, no one noticed that I could not keep my head above water or that I was in great danger of drowning. I kicked and sputtered to no avail for quite some time until my toes finally touched. I don't believe that I ever told anyone until now about that scary time in my childhood, but the movie reels in my head relive it once in a while when I see happy people bobbing in the water.
Sometimes, as we splash along in life, we are lured forward by the pull of worldly cares. As we head that way sometimes, we innocently drift, not paying attention to our attitudes changing or our good habits waning at the call of other things. Our head bobs under time and time again, threatening our spiritual well-being. As we struggle alone to touch the bottom to right ourselves, no one notices our struggle. Just one among many in the sea of humanity, we try desperately to get back to the shore from where we have drifted. If you're still drifting, know that Jesus is waiting with open arms for your return.
Peter found himself in just such a situation, when, to save his own life, he turned his back on Jesus and three times denied that he knew Him. Earlier that evening, our Saviour had predicted that Peter would do this very thing, but He added, "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." (Luke 22:32 NKJV)
If you have returned towards shore to the waiting arms of Jesus and rejoiced as your toes touched solid ground, then look around you, and strengthen a drifting brother or sister who is struggling alongside you.
Prayer: Precious Jesus, we know how easily we can drift away from Your amazing grace and loving arms. It can happen so gradually that we don't realize that we have lost You as our solid ground. May we be alert to the devil and wise to his tricks. Amen.
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Thank you for this message.
Thanks, Jeanie, for the good words.
Beautifully written, Jeanie! Thank you!
What a wonderful analogy. Thank you so much.
Thank you, Jeanie. May we always be safe in the arms of Jesus.
Jeanne, thank you for sharing this timely caution with us. Blessings.
We are weak and need to recognize this – we need Jesus as our friend and companion.
Thank you for your testimony and witness about how we need to turn to Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life.
Jeannie, you nailed it again ! We love your offerings….today’s was great and so very introspective!
Jeanie, I find it interesting how God uses early childhood memories to still be teaching me things today. I’m in my 80s and still learning of and leaning on God’s wondrous and powerful love! Thank you for your story today.
Thank you so much for your devotional today. It gave quite a visual of how easily we can drift away from our Lord with all the distractions in this very broken world.
Thank you and blessings to you.
so perfectly true i believe:)
(Praise and Glory to our good God, Three in one)!!! I ask prayer for wisdom how to keep quiet and let God show this to those my precious loved ones, He is so powerful….
Thank you so much for writing this.
Thank you, Jeanie, for another of your great writings. Very thankful that you survived that swimming experience and surely God’s hand was upon you. You have written a very good analogy of what you experienced and how we can easily find ourselves “bobbing away” from our Saviour’s care. It is important that we seek and respect the loving care available to us through Jesus. Blessings for doing these devotionals.
Merci Jeanie for a meaningful devotional and welcome insights — that Jesus ‘prayed’ for Peter prior to his denial, that each follower today may yet do right. Your recollection of movie reels in the mind from a near drowning experience is eerily similar to my own. In the mid 1950’s, in the St. Clair river, after not being able to touch bottom and then flailing about, an alert lifeguard returned me to shore after my cousin thought I was joking. The rescue was Providential.
Good morning, Jeanie,
This is an amazing devotional which unfolds so beautifully to make such an important point. I definitely have had this happen to me on my faith journey. I agree it is so easy to slide off the right path and much harder to recognize it and get back on. You pass no judgment in your devotional and gently remind us that Jesus’ arms are always open for us to return to.
I haven’t come across this hymn before that was chosen to go with your devotional and really enjoyed reading the lyrics.
Thank you for sharing your memories of The Spot and showing how it fits into our faith journey. Blessings.
Jeanie, I found your devotional so meaningful today.
I felt like I was actually bobbing with you unable to touch bottom (a long-forgotten memory for me).
I really appreciated the reminder that Jesus had prayed for Peter that his faith would not fail. Somehow, it’s usually stressed that Peter denied Jesus 3 times but not the next part: after returning to Him, to go and strengthen others. It really jumped out at me as if it was the first time…aha!
Therefore, your challenge really spoke to me:
“If you have returned towards shore to the waiting arms of Jesus and rejoiced as your toes touched solid ground, then look around you, and strengthen a drifting brother or sister who is struggling alongside you.”
Blessings as you continue to write and share!