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Several years ago, I was fishing along the banks of the Sabine River behind the Lake Tawakoni dam in waders. Stupid? Yes. Every few yards I would step out in the water a foot or two casting my bait in the direction of what looked to me a honey spot, the home of that long overdue trophy catch. Now, if you’re an angler, then you will already know I am not. I knew it too the moment I slipped.

Attempting to climb back up was hopeless. Getting traction on the muddy slope proved impossible, and my waders were filling fast. Unable to climb or swim, I knew I was in trouble, I would have drowned that day were it not for a man on the bank above me with his fishing rod pulling me safely from the river. I didn’t have to cry out; he knew my situation without me having to say a word. Little doubt he had a fish story to tell his buddies about the day he caught a 150 pounder on a Zebco 33 with 10-pound test line.

Okay, so you’re not into fishing, “Zebco” is Greek to you and “test line is what the IT department does when your work computer goes down – I understand. The point I would like to make, however, is this:

We all do the wrong thing sometimes, even when knowing better. What was I thinking to step out from a river bank in waders? Surely somebody switched out my vitamins with dum-dum pills that morning. But like the man who was there to rescue me, not just from my drowning, but from my stupidity. Our heavenly Father understands our ignorance and tendency to make bad choices in life, stupid choices, even rebellious ones; “he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust (Psalm 103:14 NLT). Even so, he is always standing on the bank with an outstretched hand ready to pull us to safety; we don’t even have to say a word.

How many times have you looked up to find him reaching out to you? Me, I lost count a long-long time ago. Today I just sing along with the Psalmist and remember the words of Paul, “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings; for he who promised is faithful” (Psalm 36:7; Hebrews 10:23b). Then comes to mind these words from Luke 10:37: “You go, and do likewise.” Yes, I am my brother’s keeper.