I held my whistle loosely on my lips, I donned black ray bans, and my candy apple red toenail polish matched exactly to the color of my swimsuit. I totally looked like a lifeguard.
Unbeknownst to me a seven year-old girl by the name of Emily was drowning right beneath my candy-apple colored toes. Six weeks of lifeguard training went out the window when I saw Emily's blue eyes the size of saucers from under the water.
To the shame of David Hasselhoff and hundreds of Baywatch episodes I watched, I impulsively reached down into the water like Conan the Barbarian and pulled her out by her hair. Yes, her hair.
Emily was crying… her mother was crying… I was crying. Come on, it's tough living up to Wendy Peffercorn and Pam Anderson!
One thing I will never forget about my lifeguard training was an exercise taught by the instructor. He said he was going to pretend to be a typical drowning victim and we had to attempt to rescue him. Simple, right? Wrong! I dove into the water and swam as quickly as I could to "rescue" the victim.
However, when I reached him he was frantically reaching for me and grasping on to me so tight, we both went under. As I coughed up ten pounds of water and put down my pride he explained that an active victim is so gripped by fear that they will ruin a rescue attempt.
The drill was done again except this time he told us to use our discernment as to when we should dive in. A new student was chosen to do the rescue. He waited patiently on the pool deck until our instructor was so tired he would no longer fight against his own will to survive.
The moment he surrendered to the struggle, the trainee dove in and quickly cupped our instructor under his strong arms and pulled him to safety. This experience never left me. Even now I remember the look of exhaustion on the face of my instructor and the look of confidence on my fellow student.
I realized that Jesus Christ is our lifeguard. He performs CPR on us when our heart is under attack, He protects our life and discerns danger, He gives us warnings to keep us from danger, and when necessary, He waits until we have completely surrendered our will to fight only to reach out and save us.
There, in that moment, Jesus cups us under His nail pierced hands and pulls us to safety. In His arms is Life and Life abundantly. Stop fighting the inevitable and let Jesus save your life. For as it says in Mark 8:34, What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?
Live out a paradox today: give up the fight, win the battle.