I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve needed to be rescued? I stepped off a curb once, and my best friend grabbed my shirt and pulled me back out of traffic because I was about to be hit by a car I didn’t see coming. And once, when I was about 11 or 12, I was swimmin’ in a creek, and got my arm stuck in a root wad below the surface of the water. I’d have drowned, for sure, if my buddy hadn’t sensed something was wrong. He dove under the water to where I was and yanked my arm free. He rescued me, or perhaps it would be better stated, God rescued me, by using my friend to save me from drowning.

In Ps. 91, the song writer said, “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” That should settle the issue, don’t you think? Our God is a God who rescues … except when he chooses not to.

I’m embarrassed to say that in my college years, I enrolled in courses that I occasionally didn’t take seriously, and when final exam time rolled around, I urgently asked God to come and rescue my ignorance. As you might imagine, asking God to help me remember things I never learned in the first place was something he wouldn’t agree to. I’d like to think that that kind of careless approach to life was unique to my younger years. But, no  I can’t even count the times over the course of my life when I’ve gotten myself into real fixes I couldn’t fix.

Our God, of course, has never seen a fix he couldn’t fix if he chose to. Some of the most exciting times I’ve ever experienced have been situations where God rescued me from certain disaster. As a Christian, I’ve know his rescuing hand many times. But, while God can always be trusted to respond to my seeming emergency, it does not follow that the way he might rescue me would line up with my preferred method of emergency services.

I’ve heard people of faith say that ‘God is never late. He’s always right on time.’ I guess what they’re trying to do is say something nice about God and his faithfulness. God is, indeed, gracious and faithful. But to say God is never late? How about ‘God is never early?’

You remember the story of Joseph, don’t you? His brothers were about to kill him, but then, right on time I suppose you could say, the God who is never late rescued him, when they threw him into a well. And God rescued him when those traders came by and took him to Egypt. He rescued him from those traders, when they sold him to Potipher as a slave. And Potipher’s wife rescued him, too, when she accused him of something he didn’t do. God’s rescue included jail time. Read the story again, in Gen. 39.

Ps. 34:17 says “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” I totally believe that. But sometimes, the thing I think I need to be rescued from is the crisis God has known about all along. Serious stuff. I need to study for those testings that are sure to come  … a lot more.

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