Debbie McDaniel Christian Blog and Commentary

For When You Feel Overwhelmed, He Is the Rescuer

  • Debbie McDaniel

    Debbie's HeadshotDebbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's Facebook page, for daily encouragement in living strong, free…

  • 2015 Jun 19

I woke up with a start.  Eyes wide, heart racing, fear gripped my thoughts.  Any hopes of a good night's sleep now ruined.  I couldn't speak of it for months.  The "what ifs" haunted me still.  The image of her, swirling away from my grasp, it was too much for a Mama's heart.  God whispered peace to my anxious soul in the dark.  "Don’t be afraid…I am here.”

Memories from that day lingered on long.  Vivid.  Intense. 

We were camping one weekend.  It had been raining hard, for days.  Traveling in an RV propelled us onward, reasoning we could still make the trip work.  The kids had looked forward to being out in the woods, building campfires.  I had looked forward to family time just being away, without distraction.

We arrived to our destination, set up camp, and began to explore.  Heavy rains had driven many visitors away already, but we enjoyed just having the space and quiet of nature surrounding us.  As we hiked the grounds, we met another family with kids playing in the water across a low lying flooded road, built over the river.  We stopped briefly to talk, looking out at the water below, churning past.  Strong, rushing currents.  The kids took off fast to splash with the others where it seemed safe, ankle deep, but before I could shout out the words, “Stop!  That’s too far - come back!” It happened.

Almost slow motion, yet it happened so fast.  Slipping from the edge of the road bridge, my precious girl, barely 7 years old, fell down, plunging into the churning water.  I screamed to her, words frozen in time and space, the waters swirling, twirling, seeking to devour.  My husband was already in the water.  In a moment’s flash, he'd dove in, desperately trying to make his way towards her. 

She yelled for him, "Daddy, Daddy, help me!" her voice so small in the rushing waters that swept around her.  I called to her, over and over, words pouring out, "Baby, your Daddy's coming, keep looking at Daddy!”  Praying, pleading with God, adrenaline racing, I knew I just needed to keep seeing her head stay above water. 

Seconds seemed like eternity.  Strong arms reached out for her in the rapids, pushing upwards, he made sure she stayed above the swirling deep.  Swept along with the current, they disappeared out of sight around a bend.  My heart desperate, my young boys watching it all in panicked silence, wide-eyed, until...there they were, at the side of the bank, slowly climbing out to safety, breathless, but breathing still. 

There was life.  Beautiful, wonderful, amazing life.  Life I had so taken for granted just moments before.  Life that I somehow imagined would always keep going on for more tomorrows.  He held her in his arms, clutching tightly, not letting her go.  This man I love had thought nothing at all at risking everything to save our sweet girl. 

The rescuer.

Absolute picture of the sheer grace of God standing there in front of me. 

I thought of moments earlier in the day when I'd been annoyed at him for something so seemingly unimportant.  And as they stood there, freezing cold, dripping wet, out of breath, all of that stuff that never really mattered anyway, disappeared fast, lost in the swirling waters.  I was face to face with the reality of what was most important.  And how it's often too easy to take those we love for granted, like they'll always be here, with us.

There’s such great treasure in time with loved ones.  Sometimes, we miss it, out of busyness and distractions.  Sometimes, we let it slip away, out of hurt or resentments.  But life is too short to be lived that way, so carelessly.  We can never get that time back. 

And I was reminded that day.  Of how He rescues us.  And gives us a second chance.

Amazing Daddy who loves so deeply, carrying our precious girl - strong arms holding her, safe, secure, from rushing flood waters that sought to steal her life.  That image, forever engraved in my mind, rose stronger than the fear which sought to rob me of sleep night after night. 

Because really, that reminder – is a picture of me.  And you.  We are that dearly loved child found safe in Daddy’s arms.  That’s how He carries us.  Every single moment of every day.

Love reached down in our own swirling mess.  Love jumped in, fully submerged, to carry us to safety.  Love was willing to give up everything.  Love was willing to lay down His life.  Love rescued us.

His arms are strong, safe, and secure.  He carries us still through the fiercest of times.  Through every rushing river, struggle, and fear gripping battle.  Through every time we’re not quite sure what tomorrow will bring or if we’ll even make it through.

He is our Rescuer.

His voice rises over that tumultuous struggle, breathing hope,  calling our name, “Keep looking at Me child, you are safe in My arms, I will never let you go.” 

The One who knows our way can soothe every fear, heal every hurt, and never gives up.  

He is able to save.

And it’s there, we can find…


8 Reminders that He is Our Rescuer:

"He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters." Ps. 18:16

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…”   Is. 43:1-2

“Our God is a God who saves.”  Psa. 68:20

“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.”  Is. 41:13

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”  Zep. 3:17

"Call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory." Ps. 50:15

"When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." Ps. 61:2

"...I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." Is. 46:4

Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page, DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also at Twitter.