Need A Rescue?

Last week I had the honor of leading a 4000 conference for pastors. It was the biggest event I had ever done, and it wiped me out. This week as I was putting myself back together. The thought I had was I needed a rescue. It reminded me of my great friend Steve Pollock, who has spent time as a Coast Guard Rescuer. So, I asked him to write for us this week. Here are the thoughts that he and God put together for us:

A common theme in life and our small group is the concept of timing and process. How do you get them both right? The analogy of one boat towing another boat came to mind from my experience as a Coast Guard Rescuer. 

A boat rescuer to the Coast Guard is what a fireman is to the local fire station. We’re on duty, physically sleeping, cooking, and eating at the station, for a couple of days in a row…waiting for a call to come in. We train a lot to conduct rescues during that time. Our average week runs 80+ hours between training and the several actual calls that come in each week.

We go out any time a boater gets in any kind of trouble and calls us. Sometimes they run out of gas, go aground, start sinking, or lose someone over the side. No matter the weather we go. It is often a thrill to be going into the teeth of a storm when everybody else is racing to get away from it. For me, it is a calling. I’m not kidding…the sea is in my blood, and I can’t imagine a time in my life that I don’t go back. 

The process of the rescue includes using a tow line that is really strong, putting pressure skillfully in the right places at the right time. In unskilled hands, a bad situation can get worse.

Have you ever noticed God’s timing and process is never convenient? 

I woke up at 2:30 am twice this week. I didn’t want to be awake, so I kept trying to will myself to go back to sleep. Since that never works, I figured I do some praying, and as I did, the word “writhing” came to mind – although I wouldn’t have said it before the word came to mind. I did have that unrest deep enough that I actually felt like I was writhing in a type of psychological turmoil. That same quiet voice that woke me up invited me to open the Bible, and I opened to the verse of the day.

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.”
Isaiah 26:3

I kept reading. Verse 17 in this very chapter describes “writhing” in pain as when a woman writhes while in labor. Coincidence? I am not that familiar with this scripture, so this had to be God’s special way to let me know He’s talking to me. It has happened before. He masterfully brings a word to mind and then guides me to a specific book of the Bible to find the same word repeated. God can be playful in this with me too. The next day, I told my friend Shawn about this experience. Care to guess what was written on his t-shirt? Isaiah 26:3! Coincidence? 

Here’s what I think He is trying to say: my life, my circumstances, my deliverance is not mine to control. I want to heal now. I want to understand my wounds now. I want to be as light as a feather now. In my eagerness for inner peace, I’m bypassing God’s process for healing by trying harder. I’m ignoring His timing by naming the time and place I’ll be changed. If I want peace, I need to recognize who is in charge and fix my eyes on Him. Otherwise, I’ll just keep on writing and giving birth to the wind.

You know what makes a rescue work? It’s when the one in trouble accepts the fact that he cannot save himself and needs the Rescuer.  ~Stephen Pollock

Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

3 thoughts on “Need A Rescue?

  1. Thank you both, Shawn and Stephen. Wonderful message for today and everyday. On an aside, I respect and admire our Coast Guard and those who serve. Shawn, a masterful job was done by you and the team for ARC. Once again, thanks to you both.


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