Thursday, July 23, 2009

Overboard in the Atlantic Ocean

In 2002, a crew member on a Norway cruise ship fell overboard one evening into the Atlantic Ocean. She couldn't swim. The crew discovered she was missing 4 hours later when she failed to show up for a late roll call. The ship captain had a tough decision to make. With over 1,000 passengers who paid to go to St. Martin Island in the Caribbean, should he take them to their destination, or should he go back and search for the body? He decided to turn the ship around, ignoring the hostile protests from upset passengers.

After back-tracking over 4 hours, by now the sun had come up. Even though it's nearly impossible to spot someone in the high seas due to waves and whitecaps, passengers gathered on deck to help look for the proverbial needle in the haystack. Suddenly a passenger shouted, "There she is!" Unbelievably, she wasn't floating face down. She had been treading water for 10 hours, not knowing the ship would return!

Now, change perspectives and see it through this woman's eyes. Imagine how she felt after plunging into the water, watching the lights of the cruise ship disappear into the night. Can you see her frantically splashing in the water, teaching herself to dog paddle, just keeping her head barely above water? Think of her fear of being eaten by sharks in the ditch dark.

The chances of surviving were a million to one. Her only option was to tread water throughout the night and pray for a miracle. Now imagine her excitement when she sees the ship appear on the horizon, heading her way, and soon to rescue her! This was one of the most amazing incidents of survival at sea in recent memory.

This incredible rescue is what it's like to be saved by God's grace. We are all in a situation much more desperate than this woman's, drowning in a sea of sin. We're treading water during our time on earth. If we go under, we will descend into hell forever. We have no hope of being saved!

Yet, God does the impossible and comes looking for us. Jesus said, "What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in open pasture, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?" (Luke 15:4). He has come looking for you! We can't save ourselves any more than that woman lost at sea could save herself. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." (Eph. 2:8) All we can do is cry out in desperation. "Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved." (Rom. 10:13)

If you want to be saved, simply pray, "Jesus, please save me! Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I believe you rose from the dead. I give you my life." If you prayed to be saved, please contact me through
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