September 3, 2019
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It was a day at the beach to never forget. Rob Howes was swimming off New Zealand's northern coast with his daughter and two friends. That's when the dolphins surrounded them - on porpoise. Sorry. What happened was that that group of dolphins began doing laps around them in these tighter and tighter circles. It was crazy! It was as if the people were being herded like sheep by the dolphins. There was a lifeguard in a nearby lifeboat, but neither he nor the Howes party could figure out what the dolphins were up to, until they saw the great white shark coming toward them. Apparently, the dolphins had made a formation around the swimmers to repel the shark. And sure enough, the shark swam away, leaving the swimmers to make it safely to shore. Amazing, huh?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Sharks You Never Saw."
Those folks had no idea of the danger they were in. But amazingly, a hedge of protection was provided from a danger they didn't even know they had. If you belong to Jesus Christ, that has happened to you more times than you will ever know, until you get to heaven. So many times, God, who sees every danger, has either steered you away from the threat or the threat away from you. He's been protecting you constantly from the sharks you never saw, and the ones you did see are just reminders of the many others that He has kept from hurting you over the years and of the ones He'll keep from you every step of the journey ahead.
I'll tell you, one of the more comforting psalms in the Bible is part of our word for today from the Word of God. It's Psalm 121. It's a great one, a good chapter to read at times when you're anxious or afraid or in some kind of trouble or danger. David says, "My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel - or you could put in there maybe "His people" - "He who watches over (His people) will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you..." Okay, do you get the repetition? Think there's something here that God wants you not to miss? "...the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."
You probably picked it up. Eight verses in this psalm. Five times it says, "the Lord watches over you." The Father looking out for you knows everything, He is everywhere, He can do anything, and there's never a moment when He's not looking out for you. So what was that you were afraid again? You don't even know half of the things around you that you could be afraid of. But fear makes no sense in the life of a child of Almighty God. In fact, fear is actually in a way, it's an insult to Him, saying either "God, You might miss something," or "God, there might be something You can't handle."
That's why 2 Timothy 1:7 can say: "God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind." But this isn't just for you. It's for your children, and your grandchildren, and the people you love. Isaiah 40:11 says that "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart." That includes your lambs. Don't let your fears define how you parent, or how you plan, or how you proceed. Not when you have the God of the universe and His mighty army of angels on round-the-clock security duty protecting you. All that worrying is so unnecessary and it is such a waste of time!
No matter where you are, no matter how dark or dangerous it seems to be, God is there and God can handle it, even if He has to send a few dolphins to protect you. Your safety and the safety of those you love, has nothing to do with the surroundings. It has to do with the Savior, who keeps them day and night.
Remember that line from Amazing Grace, "Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home!"