My husband often jokes that if he can't find me, I'll be at the lifeguard station a few miles south of us. We stopped there once - when we first moved to Florida - to ask about vacancies at an oceanfront hotel. I started to get out of the car only to see a dozen nicely tanned, muscular men jogging past me. It was like Baywatch come to life.
But seriously, the red lifeguard stands dot the Atlantic coast. Most of the time, I do not see an actual person sitting atop the own at our location. Budget cuts mean lifeguards only truly guard the more popular areas of the beach. Ours often sits empty.
And while it is beautiful, the beach poses real danger. There have been the occasional shark sightings. And, there are often viscous rip currents. Special flags are used to warn swimmers to take caution. But people don't heed the warnings, and there are too often accidents where someone is swept out into the ocean with no one around to help or rescue.
As I passed this empty lifeguard station, it made me stop and whisper a prayer of thanks.
Because I have a Lifeguard who is always on duty. He never leaves His station. He never takes His eyes off of me. While I may not always be mindful of God and His watchful plan for my life, He is constantly present.
Proverbs 15:3 says, "The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good."
Psalm 139:2-3 assures me, "You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways."
And my favorite verse: Psalm 32:8, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."
Friend, you and I are known by God. He loves you and sees you. He has His eye on you.
What a blessed assurance that is to me, to know that I am not alone, that I trust in a God who is completely available and dependable. I can go to Him at any moment, cry out in need, in my worry, in my fear. I will never be turned away. I will never be ignored.
In the truest sense, God is my constant, faithful lifeguard.
I have a sparrow tattooed on my right shoulder, and it reminds me of this passage in Matthew: "Are not two sparrows sold for one penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows" (10:29-31)
The hymn, His Eye is On the Sparrow, was inspired by this verse. The author speaks this truth simply and clearly: "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." Here is a beautiful rendition of this hymn by Mahalia Jackson for you this morning: His Eye is on the Sparrow