Disobedience is Dangerous
All morning Erin had been out swimming, jumping off of a very long pier when she noticed a group of teenagers who were relentlessly teasing a boy. She couldn’t hear what they were saying to him, but the next thing she heard was a splash. The boy was on the bottom and wasn’t coming up!! Right away Erin could sense he couldn’t swim!! Surely someone would soon help him, but instead, Erin was shocked that the group of bullies was running away and the lifeguard was too far away to rescue him and hadn’t seemed to notice what had happened. That’s when Erin knew she was this boy’s only hope of being rescued or he’d drown.
Erin was taught at a young age the real dangers of drowning because Erin’s mother, Grammy (who you read about in Macy's Barn Cat) told her children a very sad story many times. It was the story of how her mother and her mother’s younger brother, Richard, had disobeyed their parents by playing in a rowboat tied to a dock. When her mother, Grace, suddenly noticed the boat had started drifting far from shore. Grace told Richard not to worry because she could swim to shore to get help and to wait in the boat. Grace was a good swimmer but Richard was just learning to swim.
Sadly, when Grace got help, 6-year-old Richard wasn’t in the boat. He had disobeyed not just his parents but also his older sister and didn’t wait for help. While trying to swim back to shore Richard had drowned. Disobedience is dangerous. This is what Erin taught her children each time she told the story of how her mother, Grammy, grew up as an only child, losing her only brother when he was just 7-years-old and what led to her parents divorcing. Grace and Richard were both taught by their Quaker aunts that children must obey their parents in the Lord, for this is right and so that they would live long on the earth because it’s not God who says “the good die young” but the world.
So when Erin saw this boy on the bottom of the very same bay where her uncle had died, she quickly swam down to the teenage boy. Erin grabbed hold of him while standing on the sandy bottom of the bay, and pushed the boy up to the surface to get air! Erin hadn’t learned any lifesaving skills but when she grew up and became a lifeguard. Knowing everyone needs to know how to rescue someone safely, Erin taught lifesaving skills to very young children—one was a little girl who saved her younger brother— a little boy who was younger than Richard. This little girl was awarded a medal for saving her little brother and Erin’s reward was seeing this little blonde-haired boy very much alive at his summer swimming lessons where she taught him how to swim. Now Erin teaches spiritual lifesaving skills to adults and very young children, like you, so you are confident in saving someone from death—giving them a new life!
So since Erin had no life-saving skills, she simply trusted God to help her rescue the much larger teenage boy. Grabbing his legs, she’d shove the boy up to the surface where he could breathe as she walked along the bottom towards the ladder. When she couldn’t hold her breath any longer she’d let him go, quickly resurface for more air, and then dive back down again to lift the boy up to get more air while she continued walking towards the ladder.
After repeating this several times, she finally was able to shove the teenager towards the ladder, and thankfully, the lifeguard was there to grab and pull the boy up out of the water as he coughed and cried. As Erin clung to the steps, coughing and spitting out all the water she also had swallowed, is when she noticed there was a large crowd watching her. Embarrassed, Erin hurried past assuring everyone that she was fine, and headed home where she felt safe. The last thing Erin wanted or needed was anybody’s attention or praise.
This is one of the many reasons God allows us to be treated unjustly and wrongly punished as you read about in On the Rock. God uses unfairness for GOOD so that we are trained to not be motivated by criticism or praise—because praise can easily make us proud. And though the world says being proud is a good thing, God says the opposite. God says having pride comes before destruction, and being arrogant before we fall.
When Erin finally got back to the house, she never mentioned what had happened to her mother or aunt. Again Erin didn’t want or need anyone’s attention or praise. It was later in the day, that evening, that God orchestrated her reward. While sitting on their screened porch Erin’s aunt asked if the little girl everyone was talking about was her. Even though everyone in town was talking about the little girl who’d rescued the teenage boy from drowning, no one knew who the little girl was who saved him.
When her aunt asked if she was the little girl, Erin looked up and nodded yes. That’s when Erin was rewarded. With tears in her eyes Erin’s mother, Grace smiled and said, “Erin you did a good thing today” and she knew her mom was thinking of her own brother who had drowned because there was no one to save him.
Sometimes we aren’t able to save our own family members, the people we love most in the world—but God chooses to send other believers to save them—while we rescue the family members of people we don’t know. That’s why we can never hesitate or believe the lie “we don’t have what it takes.” We are never too young or too weak because He makes us strong and will do it through us when we are weak. All we need to do is tell people our story, our testimony and this will lead to saving someone who is dying spiritually. We simply need to tell one person our story, our testimony of meeting our Prince of Peace.