find out what God says about protecting us in times of
"The Lord shall
preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord
shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth,
and even for ever more." Psalm 121:7-8
"We all panic at
one time or another in our lives; I did when I was caught in a
deadly rip tide!"
I lived on a
beautiful Island called Guam on Anderson Air force base, located out
in the Pacific Ocean by the Philippines. I was 13 years old in 1970
when this happened to me and a friend. We were at the beach every
chance we got and boys being boys, we would never be
caught using any type of flotation device.
parts of the beach on the other side of the island, you could
literally walk out over half a mile out in the ocean without the
water being over your head. The water was so warm and blue; I
would close my eyes and pretend I was in the world's biggest hot
My friend was
showing off his new western cowboy boots at the beach of all places.
Then after awhile we both wanted to go out and enjoy the
warm water for a little bit, like we have done dozens of times
before we had to go back home. So we walked a little ways and we
found a spot where there was a person who was sitting with an
inner tube beside him. My friend did not want to leave his
new boots on the sandy beach and take a chance somebody might walk
by and rip them off.
So my friend asked
if he could use his inner tube for just a few minutes so
that he could keep his new boots dry by resting them on top of
the rubber inner tube.
The nice man said yes,
so I thought nothing of being seen with flotation
devices since we were only going in the water up to our waist
for the sake of keeping his new boots dry and then go home for
It seemed like
we were not in the water more than a minute or two when we felt
a strong pulling sensation, it felt weird since we were only in
water that was just a little more than waist deep.
The next thing we knew
we were being pulled out into the ocean, no matter how hard we
struggled to walk back towards the safety of the beach, the water
continued to pull us even farther out into the ocean.
The beach seemed so far
away it seemed like we were going to be dragged for miles
out into the ocean. I have never been caught in a rip tide before
this day nor have I ever been in one ever again.
I know we did, at that
point we were so scared that we thought we were going to die, I
remember that there were many times in my young life where I turned
to God for help and this was definitely one of them. I prayed for
God to save us.
My friend decided to
abandon ship, and let go of the safety of the inner tube and tried
to fight against the undertow by diving under the water to swim back
towards the shore.
Just a few
moments later my friends head appeared above water
about 50 feet away from me. Only he was 50 feet farther
out into the ocean than where he first started and he seemed like he
was going even further away. Satan tried to use his subtle influence
of fear on me and convince me that there are sharks waiting for me
out in the deeper water where my friend was. And that I should
try and go and get help for my friend.
I knew how tired I was and I was the one with the safety of the
I knew these
thoughts of fear in my moment of weakness were not from
God, these thoughts of fear of abandoning my friend just
did not feel right. I knew God has never abandoned me or forsaken me
since I was a little boy.
"I will never leave you or forsake
you." Hebrews 13:5
I tried to put the fear
of dying from drowning or being eaten from sharks out of my
mind. I made the choice to go out further into the endless
scary ocean with the inner tube that I was clutching on too for dear
I can't explain it as a
frightened teenager, but when I made the decision to turn away from
fear and to depend on God to save us, I felt a spiritual sense
of calm, like being in the eye of a storm. By the grace
of God I finally caught up with my friend, we were both physically
and mentally exhausted and ironically I knew that we would have both
drowned and died by now if not for the rubber inner tube that
earlier I would not have been caught dead with.
time, we finally did make it back to shore,
It wasn't funny then,
but looking back, it's funny how our priorities change so quickly in
our lives. My friend who loved his new cowboy boots so much, that he
would never let anything happen to them, threw them off of the inner
tube and let the ocean claim them, almost as if he was trying to
appease the oceans wrath in hopes that the ocean
would become calm waters and let us go back to the safety
of the sandy beach from where we were just a few minutes
I knew I owed God for
our lives that day,
I believe that God will
protect us if we try to help out others that are weaker than
ourselves, I knew my friend, just like me was physically
I believe when I
decided to put aside my worse fears of drowning and man eating
sharks, and put my complete trust and faith in God and go back and
help my friend instead of abandoning him.
That God triumphed over our overwhelming adversity of
the rip tide and led us both back to victory.
As I look back at the
power of God's protection that was in both my friends and in my
life that day,
I realized if my friend
did not bring his brand new cowboy boots to the beach that day that
we would never had use of the man's inner tube.
And when we did finally
make it back to the beach to give back this man's inner
He was gone, no where
to be found.
Was it by chance or
by divine intervention that the cowboy boots, the man, and
the inner tube all played a part in saving our lives that
Some people say if
something happens in your life that spares you from tragedy, that it
was just luck.
And if it happens
twice, that it was just a coincident.
I believe that if
it happens several times, that it is not by chance or by coincident
but by the consequences of divine intervention in your
"Blessed is he who has regard for the weak;
the Lord delivers him in times of trouble. The Lord will protect him
and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land and not
surrender him to the desires of his foes." Psalm
I'm happy to say that
God has been there for me each and every time, and He wants to do
the same for you. All you and I have to do is learn to do it God's
What is God's way?
Glorifying God in
everything that we say and do.
felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help
ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everythng into the
hands of God, who alone could save us." 2 Corinthians
survive being caught in a rip tide
Sadly, experts say the majority of people
who drown in a rip tide could have been prevented.
Most people drown simply because they panic and hopelessly try to
fight against the rip tide and become physically exhausted, just
like we did except by the grace of God we had the inner tube with
important to remain calm and don't panic, and if you just
calmly let the rip tide take you out to sea a little ways you
will find that the negative force against you lessens a great
deal and then because you still have most of your physical
strength, that you can calmly swim parallel and safely back to
the beach. You will be able to swim out of the rip tide after
just 100 to 200 feet and then swim calmly back to shore.
This is the
same spiritual principal that we should use in being blessed by God.
If you don't fight God and trust doing things His
way. He will take you through any rip tide that is happening
in your lives to calm waters and He will bless you for
your trust and faith in Him.
"The salvation of the righteous comes from the
Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble." Psalm
God believes in
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