The tide is strong, the waves are high. Your bathing suit is new. You catch a promising swell and swim as fast as you can ahead of it, hoping for the perfect ride. What you get instead is a body slam – forced under into the Washing Machine of Terror, flipped around and upside down until you can’t tell which way is up. Some part of your body crashes into the sand, and your brain screams, “LAND!” But your eyes are full of sea water and up doesn’t feel like up.
One of our sons went through The Tumbler this summer for the first time and came up gasping, pitifully whispering, “…help…help…” He stood there in the shallows with his arms stretched out and his eyes closed, waiting for someone to tell him he wasn’t dead. FAMILY FUN!
If you are a Christ-follower, you’ve been through The Tumbler. Romans 5:9 says “…we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ…” Sin blinds us like sea water to God’s truth. We get flipped upside down, thinking the wrong way is the right one. Faith is so simple, it can’t be right, right? And aren’t there many ways to get to heaven? Isn’t “sin” just an old-fashioned word? Not according to God. And it’s His standard that matters. “We have been made right in GOD’S SIGHT.”
While we struggle to find Up, he watches us like a Lifeguard. Will we stand up on our own and call for His help? Or does He need to plunge in and rescue us? Technically, He already did. “Since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.” (still Romans 5:9)
God is above the waves. He sees His own holiness contrasted with our sin. He sent His son Jesus to bleed out on a cross after being beaten and whipped within an inch of His life. Jesus died to rescue us from The Tumbler, from the terror of being forever separated from Him. “He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” (Romans 4:25)
Jesus went through The Tumbler of God’s anger against sin. When He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit, those who believe were raised, too, coming out of the water to stand firm on holy ground with God. All sin forgiven. Made right.
Whoever you’re praying for, know that the Lifeguard is there, and He’s faithful. And if the Tumbler for you is life itself, for the Christian who has trusted in Jesus’ blood, the waves only make us stronger and we live to surf another day.