My name is Kasia and I’m a rescuer. This past Sunday, I had the honor to stand before my entire congregation and share the power of the cross in my life and about my rescuing ways.
Rescuing can be a good thing, like saving a child from being hit by a car, but the type of rescuing I am talking about is not what God desires. The type of rescuing I can fall into appears loving, but results in disrespect and resentment. It is trying to save others from the negative consequences of their decisions by doing something I shouldn’t or failing to do something I ought.
Sometimes rescue is wrong action. For example, when I was 15, pouring out my alcoholic father’s liquor in order to prevent him from drinking, or as an adult telling a friend how and when to study for exams or how to make other life decisions.
Gal 6:5 (NET) “ For each one should carry his own load.”
Sometimes rescue is irresponsible inaction. For example, when I was in 3rd and 4th grade I would come home to blood on the walls. My mom had attempted suicide yet again. Lying for her or trying to step in and take responsibility for her emotional well being to make things better instead of calling for help was irresponsible inaction. Taking on someone else’s responsibilities at work so they don’t get fired instead of holding them accountable is also irresponsible rescuing.
Pv 3:7 (NLT) “Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil.”
But by trying to rescue those I love, I identify myself as the savior.
Why do I rescue? I rescue out of fear of not being accepted, forgiven, or loved. Amidst all of the craziness that was my childhood, the expectation was clear, my role was to rescue others. This rescuing was in exchange for love. I didn’t feel safe as a child and I couldn’t take my parents pain away so as an adult I tried to take it away for others, to create the love and safety that was not there. I needed to feel needed. I took responsibility for others emotional well being instead of allowing them to own it for themselves.
I’ve learned that although I can rescue people from immediate pain, it ultimately leads to bitterness, on both sides. When I attempt to rescue I am saying “I know how to do this better than you or God so just let me.” This is my arrogance and pride.
Matt 26:38-39 (NIV) “38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Jesus pleaded with God three times for God to rescue him from the cross but as we see in verse 46, “Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” God did not rescue Jesus from the cross.
God didn’t rescue Jesus from the cross because he had a specific plan. Sometimes, I shouldn’t be rescued by people because there are lessons I can only learn by facing trials, even if it involves pain. I can trust The God who loved me enough to allow His son to go to the cross for me.
I don’t need to rescue others in order to be loved, worthy, or assured by them. I don’t need to save others. God is the only Savior we need. His love assures me that I am enough, accepted completely, forgiven and safe. To Him, I’m never too hard to love. I’m worth the fight and I am worth the pain. He did not rescue Jesus from the cross so that I could be assured of His love and He sacrificed Christ so that I might accept His assurance to love myself and others better.
Is43: 1- (NCV) “He says, “Don’t be afraid, because I have saved you. I have called you by name, and you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you cross rivers, you will not drown. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flames hurt you.3 This is because I, the Lord, am your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
The power of the cross is the power to free me from the coping mechanisms I developed in childhood, free me from my sin and redefine my self-worth. Through Jesus’s sacrifice, we are assured of God’s love and our validity. I know that I do not need to fill this role of rescuing in order to feel loved and accepted. I am enough. His love for me is unconditional.
God did not rescue Jesus from the cross, but instead allowed his body to be broken and blood poured out so I do not need to hide behind my pride. Through the cross, Jesus restores our freedom to love ourselves and others the right way, His way.
Ps 131 (NCV) “Lord, my heart is not proud; I don’t look down on others. I don’t do great things, and I can’t do miracles. But I am at peace, like a baby with its mother. People of Israel put your hope in the Lord now and forever.”