Have you ever gotten yourself into situations that were clearly “over your head?” You thought you could handle whatever it was but as time went on you realized you were drowning in your efforts. Maybe, like me, you never thought you would lose your grip on God, but found his grasp on you to be the only force that kept you from sinking?
There’s a wonderful scene in The Fellowship of the Ring that helps me visualize such a state. Frodo has slipped away from the others in the company to continue his journey alone. He has seen the turmoil the ring has caused and doesn’t want to subject his friends any longer to the burden he’s been given to take the ring to the Mountain of Doom for destruction.
When faithful friend Sam realizes Frodo is nowhere to be found, he rushes to the bank of the river. There he spots Frodo rowing a canoe downstream. No way would he let Frodo go it alone. Devoted companion that he is, he plunges into the water to pursue him. But there is a problem…Sam can’t swim. The scene shows him sinking deeper and deeper, until he’s no longer able to rise to the surface. Then suddenly an arm reaches down in the water and seizes Sam’s hand, pulling him up to safety….it’s Frodo. Seeing his friend’s struggle, he rescues him from danger and the two continue their venture down the river together.
The moment when Frodo’s hand grasps Sam’s paints an indelible picture to me of how God stretches his hand—his loving, capable hand—toward me. To sense God rescuing us, especially from situations brought about by our own ignorance (at best), knocks out our silly notions of self-sufficiency and directs our confidence to the one who deserves it….to the one whose hold never fails.
Do you know there’s no water too deep to keep God’s hand from rescuing you?