“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice.… He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me” (Psalm 18:6, 16–17 NIV).
Psalm 18 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. This psalm reminds me that God is near to the brokenhearted. It tells me that He hears our cries for help and thunders down from heaven to rescue us. As I edited this issue, I noticed that Psalm 18 is a favorite passage of many of our writers. In fact, so many of this issue’s contributors referenced Psalm 18 that I almost replaced it here to avoid repetition. Then I realized that maybe highlighting this Psalm was God’s plan for this time.
The Lord spoke to me from this Psalm as I wrote about my encounter with an owl that was about to drown in a lake. (See story on page 8.) I’ve often used this story to remind myself and to teach others the importance of thinking before we act.
The first draft of the article flowed effortlessly onto the computer screen, and I went to lunch happy about how the piece had turned out. But as I ate, I felt the Holy Spirit challenging me to take another look at the story.
And that’s when I heard, “Kristi, you have it all wrong. You’re focusing only on what the owl did wrong and why he ended up in his situation. Yes, it’s good to think before you act, and it’s good to make good choices with My guidance, but that’s not the real story here. The real story is about rescue. I am not a God who is angry, and I am not a God who chastises people for what they have done wrong. I am a God who hears the cries of My people and who thunders down from heaven to draw them out of deep waters. I am the Rescuer.”
Oh! Let me tell you, this correction brought so much joy and peace to my heart. I hurried back to the computer and edited the article.
That night, I was scheduled to speak at a banquet in Phoenix, Arizona, held by Roger Munchian, the subject of our cover story. Roger had asked me to share with his volunteers the partnership between Victorious Living magazine and his outreach, Rescued Not Arrested. (We supply our magazine and Roger supplies NIV study Bibles to inmates; we both offer correspondence outreaches and transitional support.)
I got to share with the people in attendance the exciting news that, as believers, we get to be the hands and feet of Jesus as He performs His rescue missions. We come alongside people in their time of need, we jump in the water with them, and we help them get safely to shore. Today, I’m sharing that news with you too—this privilege is yours!
All around us, people feel isolated and alone, whether they’re in prison or in free society. They think their actions have disqualified them in some way and have separated them from the love of God. They think they are too far gone; that there is no hope for them.
But you and I—we get to tell them the Good News that God loves them, that He is not only able but willing to rescue them. And we get to help them in tangible ways too. The following articles provide indisputable evidence of how serious God is about rescuing His people. I hope they bring comfort to you, even while they challenge you to look for ways to get in the water with others.