Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. ~ Acts 2:21(NIV)
Looking for a book to read this summer? Give some thought to one entitled, The Boys in the Boat. The Boys in the Boat is the true story of an unlikely group of young American men who came together to form an eight-man rowing team for the 1936 Olympics.
If you read the book, you’ll learn about one young man you will not soon forget. His name is Joe Rantz.
Even by the rough standards of the day, young Joe Rantz experienced a difficult life. Abandoned by his family as a boy, Joe learned to work hard and fend for himself. All his life experiences taught him a powerful lesson: Rely on yourself. Trust yourself. Do not depend on anyone else.
Up to a point in Joe’s life, this lesson seemed to serve him well. But then life confronted Joe with something that forced him to re-think his old assumption. To help cover the costs of college, Joe tried out for the school’s rowing team. Although he knew nothing about rowing, Joe’s years of hard, physical labor had given him extraordinary stamina—exactly what a rower needs.
A superb rower, however, needs more than stamina. He needs to trust. He needs to trust his fellow rowers completely. That was the great challenge for Joe Rantz. And it became a pivotal point in his life.
Perhaps you see a bit of yourself in Joe. Perhaps the difficulties in your life have led you to believe that the answer is to depend on yourself and not others. And perhaps that belief has seemed to serve you pretty well. The problem is that such a belief can seem to serve you pretty well—until it doesn’t.
From his Word, across the ages, your God calls out to you. “Where are you?” he cries, right after our fall into sin. “Listen, listen to me…Hear me, that your soul may live,” he says through the prophet Isaiah. “Come to me,” Jesus says. “Come to me, you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
The stain of our sin we cannot wash away. He does. The burden of our anxieties is not for us to bear. It is for him. The answer for peace and healing and joy in life is not in us. It is in him.
And so hear him. Hear his gospel promises. And know they are promises you can trust.
Lord Jesus, so often I’m too afraid to trust. Help me. By the power of your gospel, move me to rest my life in you. Amen.