RIPTIDE
RIPTIDE

May 31, 2011 
React or respond – which comes naturally to you? React means to respond to something by showing the feelings or thoughts it arouses. Sometimes it can be ugly, because it is based out of feelings and thoughts.  Can you trust your emotions or feelings? No, because emotions are not always based on truth. They might be based on lies that you at some point believed.  Other times you react to situations that require quick results, such as helping in an emergency. Respond on the other hand means to say or write something in reply.  You respond to something that requires a reply. Two words closely related yet different. 
You may react out of issues seeded deep within and ask yourself, where did that come from? When an emotion arises that you are completely unaware that you had harbored, do you ask yourself if there is an issue you have not yet dealt with? You can take this statement to your mental bank; issues or problems keep coming back around until we deal with them.  The Lord loves you too much to allow you to live in defeat and failure. He prompts us in love to look something straight in the face and deal with it. One of mine is fear, and it has raised its ugly head again which makes me want to run away on shaking legs!
This weekend’s sermon was on “significance.” That word makes me FEEL like shattered glass because it brings to the forefront all of my broken pieces. It challenges me in two ways; first because it is foreign to me and second it is one of my deepest struggles. When the pastor said that we must have significance if life is going to be rich and full, I replied (in my thoughts) that must be why I often feel poor and empty. And then “re” acted in despair with thoughts such as “I might as well get up and walk out now,” or “Will I ever conquer this sense of insignificance?”
As Bob continued speaking, he made a comment that was profound for me. Explaining the meaning of “worldly” from the Bible, he said, “The Devil is the Architect of worldly ways.” We can get carried away with the values and philosophies of this world’s ways and it is always lures us away from God. The world creates a current. An example of that is like a riptide.  When caught in a riptide, the strength of the undercurrent carries a person away from shore. It pulls them out to sea.  The first reaction is to fight it and try to swim to shore. But all it does it is wear a person down yet continues to carry them father and father away. Often you get caught in one out of ignorance because you are just unaware of what it is. Other times it can be flat rebellion or pride because you don’t heed the warnings. Nevertheless, the enemy lures you into the water so that he can get the upper hand in your life. With the goal of stealing, killing or destroying your life, he is well on the way to achieving that goal. Furthermore, as the architect of worldly ways he knows exactly what will cause you to struggle. He looks at the blueprints and devises a custom built plan to destroy your life.  
I find myself today standing on shore not sure to react or respond. I am fearful because I am not sure if I have what it takes to help someone I love. Because I have to deal with my own issue of insignificance, I hesitate trying to help someone else dealing with the same. I react by nature, so I want to act by jumping in and helping out yet I cannot. But what I can do is respond as I say from experience, “Quit fighting the current. Just start swimming parallel with the shore. The longer you fight, the more defeated you will become. I will walk along the shore to encourage you and be there when you are out of the riptide and get to shore. If I could get in and do it for you I would, but instead I will walk through it with you.”

Therefore, since I KNOW…… “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.” I will stand on shore waiting for you, with my hand is encased in the Lord’s. I choose to overcome the fear and refute the lie that I am not significant. Because if Jesus is willing to hold my hand and wait with me, then you and I must mean the world to Him! That I believe!