This past week, I relished in the joy of heading back to the beach for a much needed “get-away.” Upon returning back to the “real world” I recalled a verse and message I sent a year ago that I felt was applicable this year as well. I think it was timely due to the onset of summer. During the summer, we sometimes let our guard down since it is a season of relaxation. However, throughout all the seasons in life, we must continue to stay alert to any messages the Lord sends us in order to protect us. I tweaked the message a little to fit my experience this year…..see below:
1 Corinthians 10:11 (The Message)
These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.
Definition of Red Flag from The American Heritage Dictionary:
1. A warning signal.
2. Something that demands attention or provokes an irritated reaction.
I have been to the beach numerous times since early childhood. Among the many times I have been to the gulf I have enjoyed seafood, sand, and sun. The beach is my “safe place” where I like to disappear to get away from the day to day concerns. I love to take walks morning, noon, and night. I love the water and the waves and children laughing and the sounds of seagulls.
I do not love sunburn; I do not love sand that I cannot seem to remove from my body; and I do not love RED FLAGS. This week while vacationing at Laguna Beach and Gulf Shores, I witnessed a host of red flags. A red flag displayed on the beach indicates treacherous water conditions. The individual in authority who positions the bold red flags along the beach is not kidding when warning beach enthusiasts of apparent danger. The symbol of the red flag doesn’t simply mean “be careful” — it goes a step further to clarify that one is taking a true risk when choosing to get into the water.
I was amazed at the many people who not only ignored these obvious alarms, but also allowed their small children to participate in their poor choice. Saturday, when I arrived at my first beach stop at Laguna Beach, helicopters were flying overhead. I soon realized that someone had drowned, and the coast guard was searching for the man lost in the waters.
The riptides rip lives away…..we must respect the water, and we must acknowledge warning signals. Isn’t it true that our Lord also displays red flags to provide warnings of dangerous situations? He may provide red flags in possible destructive relationships, in financial matters, in health issues, in worldly matters, etc. The red flags are not placed in our midst to spoil our fun, but rather to protect us from destructive circumstances. Any choice we make whether good or bad has consequences.
How many times have we found ourselves under water? Once we are under water, it doesn’t matter how deep the water is…..the object is to keep our head above water. We all get caught in the storms of life, but our “safe place” is with Him, and it’s even more comforting when we recognize His Presence and respect the boundaries He has set for us.
We may not be the ones rejecting the red flags. We may actually witness loved ones oblivious to these blaring reminders of danger ahead. There is no way to describe the discomfort we may feel while walking the beach-side of life only to see a family member or dear friend dive into treacherous waters. We can wave our red flags frantically in the attempt to get their attention until we are exhausted!
We cannot possibly fight the riptides of life without the Life Preserver. When we realize we cannot stay afloat, we become so depleted from fighting the waves on our own, that we may finally give up and drown. Sure, while surfing on the exciting waves of the world, it appears to be so much fun! But the consequence of riding the waves while red flags are flapping, can be brutal and life threatening to the body, soul, and spirit.
I would like to stick to my “safe place” under the umbrella of the Savior who’s shielding me from getting burned in the overwhelming waves surrounding me. He’s the Life Guard with a perspective from above Who is able to predict my future (He’s already seen the whole picture). The best news is that no matter how far I sink into the abyss when I make poor decisions, He will pull me out. He’s just shaking His head at my stubbornness. He wants to lead me on the safe route; it’s much easier to be proactive than reactive!
With Christ as my Anchor, my castle one day in Heaven won’t wash away! What peace there is in knowing that the destruction of ignoring red flags is never final, because I accepted the gift of His blood red sacrifice on a hill called Calvary.
Christ is the SONSHINE that won’t burn!
Splish Splash with disaster, and we will drown into the depths!
Recognize Red Flags by hanging out with our Life Guard!