"'For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.'" (Daniel 6:26, 27 NIV)
I was a junior in college before I ever flew on a plane or left the country. When I did, it was as part of a community choir that was scheduled to sing in churches around Germany.
I first flew with my group (all strangers to me initially) out of tiny Indianapolis International Airport and into very un-tiny Chicago O'Hare International Airport. At that point, we had a sizable layover before our overseas flight, and I spent the first chunk of it wandering around the terminal, trying to figure out where I was and what I was supposed to be doing.
In the midst of my wandering, a husband and wife who were also members of my group appeared at my elbow and, having sized up my situation with grace and compassion, asked simply, "Would you like to have lunch with us?" I can't recall ever having wanted anything more than I wanted to have lunch with those lovely people. They gently guided me along to a little cafe, engaged me in friendly conversation, and, along with several other new friends who remain friends to this day, looked after me for the rest of the trip without making me feel like I was being looked after.
I usually think of a rescuer as someone who saves from death, and God surely does that. He rescues us from eternal death by offering eternal life. But sometimes, we need rescuing from life itself, when it gets lonely or confusing or bewildering. My friends gave me a glimpse of this kind of Rescuer that day, by graciously doing what He does. God our Rescuer sees our need. He comes alongside us. He steps in and offers help. He makes things easier. He relieves our anxiety. He takes us away from where we are to a place of greater security and comfort.
I'm indebted to another friend for helping me further understand this name of God: my dear "noggin" Kristen, who shared this song with me. As soon as she did, I knew "Rescuer" would be a stop on our NOG journey.
He is beauty for the blind man,
Riches for the poor,
He is friendship for the one the world ignores.
He is pasture for the weary,
Rest for those who strive,
Oh, the Good Lord is the way, the truth, the life
Yes the Good Lord is the way, the truth, the life.
He's our rescuer,
He's our rescuer,
We are free from sin forevermore.
Oh how sweet the sound,
Oh how grace abounds,
We will praise the Lord our rescuer.
("Rescuer," by Rend Collective,