When I was a child attending the Gibbsboro United Methodist church, my father always carried a roll of lifesavers in his coat pocket. These would be doled out to my sister and me. We had to wait until the sermon began, as we were all good singers and he didn’t want anyone to choke on one during a hymn.
That was OK with us, because we loved to sing the harmonies of the classics in that old red book. My father was an exquisite baritone, my mother sang alto, and my sister had perfect pitch and could handle any tenor part that came down the Jersey pike. That left the soprano to me, which was fine, since that is where my vocal register sits anyway. We were a perfect quartet.
When the sermon began, the lifesaver roll would come out of Dad’s pocket and be passed down the pew. There were only two flavors offered: Butter Rum or Wild Cherry. Butter Rum days were my favorite. I still prefer caramel flavorings over everything else…even chocolate. Plus, eating something labeled “rum” in church made my sister and me giggle.
My Dad was brilliant in having something ready for wiggly kids on Sunday mornings. However, the idea of lifesavers in church was not exactly a novel idea.
Matthew 14 (The Message)
24-26 Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror.
27 But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
28 Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”
29-30 He said, “Come ahead.”
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”
31 Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”
32-33 The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!”
We have a Savior who can rescue us from any disaster, who walks on water just to get in a rocking boat with us, and saves us from drowning in our sorrows. Jesus calms every storm, and brings us back to life.
Are you are up to your neck in something bad? Jesus can get you out of it.
Are the winds of self-doubt and discouragement screaming in your ears? Ask Jesus, and he will tell them to SHUT UP.
Are you a Faint-heart? Just look up. Jesus is reaching down into your mess to pull you out.
When Peter began to panic and lost sight of his Savior, Jesus didn’t hesitate to grab him. He will do the same for you.
So have courage! Your lifesaver is at hand.