If you are around my age you probably watched endless episodes of Gilligan’s Island as a child. “The mate was a mighty sailin’ man, The Skipper brave and sure, Five passengers set sail that day, For a three hour tour…” (Describing Gilligan as a mighty sailin’ man is a bit of a stretch, but I digress…)
In one episode the Skipper takes a wrong turn and steps into quicksand. He quickly sinks into the murky slimy pool of death while his “mighty sailin’ man” tries to cut down enough vines to save him. One of the vines Gilligan whacks with his machete swings in front of the Skipper and he pulls himself out while Gilligan, unaware that the Skipper is free, frantically tries to cut down enough vines to save his captain.
Sometimes you are the Skipper, feeling as though you are sinking in a pool of despair and discouragement. Unrealized dreams, broken relationships, addictions, sicknesses can surround you on all sides like quicksand and threaten to drag you under. And well-meaning friends like Gilligan can scurry around on the bank trying their best to save you, to pull you out of your depression. And sometimes God uses friends to throw us a vine, a solution. But ultimately to be set free from the suffocating despondency of this world you need THE vine – Jesus – to grab onto, to save you in your darkest days.
“Yet I am always with you, you hold me by my right hand…My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:23, 26)
Jesus is our vine, He holds us up and pulls us out with his mighty hand. If you are struggling today, reach up for that vine. Pray for strength and courage to face whatever is in front of you. He is always with you. Unlike friends Jesus will never leave you. He will provide you with a vine – a way out of your despair – if you will seek Him in your darkest days.