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Saved from drowning
During a visit to San Diego many years ago, my husband and I went swimming in the ocean. We enjoyed diving into the waves and letting them carry us wherever they would. Pretty soon, though, we found ourselves far from shore, with waves crashing over our heads in water that was too deep for us to stand up in.
My husband asked if I could help hold him up. My first thought was that, as a strong swimmer, I could easily do that. But as the waves became more powerful, it was impossible to maintain my hold on him. Sensing that we were in danger, I found myself paralyzed by fear.
I began to listen to God. What came to me was the gospel account of Jesus and his disciples in a boat caught in a storm. When the disciples found Jesus asleep in the back of the boat, they woke him and asked, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” Jesus “arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:38–40).
I also remembered Jesus’ statement “I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16:32).
Instead of relying on my own power as a swimmer to solve our problem, I prayerfully applied to the situation what I had heard while listening to God. In spite of the physical evidence, I affirmed that we were not alone, because God, infinite good, was with us. This meant that the frightening picture before my eyes could not possibly be true.
As I yielded to the conviction that we were actually safe in the loving care of our divine Father-Mother, a great calm came over me. I felt the power of Christ, Truth, commanding the waves that we were caught in. Then I heard sirens from the beach and saw in the distance a dune buggy racing toward us. I knew we could hang on until help arrived, because God was holding us up.
Then I felt something hit my elbow. It was a surfboard. A surfer had seen our predicament and surfed over to us so we could hang on to his board. Two lifeguards arrived with a rope and towed my husband to shore. I followed them—no longer proud of my prowess as a swimmer, only humbled by the saving power of God, good. Prayer had won the victory over fear and revealed the omnipresence of God. The result was healing and safety.
As we reached the shore, I saw a sign that was not posted on the path we had taken on our way to the beach: “No swimming in this area; dangerous riptide and undertow.”
I shall always be deeply grateful to God for this clear demonstration that we are never alone and that God’s help is always at hand.
Audrey von der Mehden
Grover, Missouri, US
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