A group of us decided to go water skiing. Mom, who prefers the relaxed atmosphere of the poolside cabana, decided to stay and watch David and enjoy the morning with him. As I was leaving with our daughter, I reminded my wife she needed to keep a close eye on David since he hadn’t yet learned the difference between six feet of water and two feet of water. All he could see was the top and that all looked the same to him. Just as I was giving this sage piece of advice to my wife, David took off full gallop, as a three-year-old does, toward the deep end of the pool and did a full cannonball with his entire 32 pounds of baby fat. He bobbed once to the surface and began to sink. I raced to the edge of the pool, reached down, grabbed his flailing arm and frantically pulled him to the surface. Now here is the amazing part. He wanted none of this saving effort from his dad. He fought me all the way to the surface and continued the struggle even after his head came above the water. Can you imagine that? It’s true!
Now, it really doesn’t take much imagination to realize that I would radically interfere with his childish "free will". After all, he is a member of the family of Mom and Dad Van. Does anyone think for a minute that his will would prevail? Could he have just jumped out of my hand? Not while I was in control! "But, you’ll ruin his little creative spirit", is the modern day rejoinder. As my little granddaughter would say, "Duh,.... I think you just preserved it."
Now, I cannot count the number of times this scene, in varied form, has repeated itself in my own relationship with our Heavenly Father throughout the course of life. I will not go into personal detail but suffice it to say there have been numerous times, I’m sure, all of us have run headlong toward the deep end of the pool not foreseeing the spiritual danger. But God, in his preserving power, draws us back, in His own time, from the edge of destruction. In Calvinism this is known as the "Perseverance of the Saints"....when actually I think all would agree it is more about the Perseverance of God. "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (Phil 1:6) I Thank God for His preserving grace toward each of us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:35-39)
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
—Annie Johnson Flint