you hear stories of people going on what they think is a normal vacation, but it ends in tragedy, death or disappearance. our trip to costa rica last march was almost one of them.
isn’t that ironic?
we were at the beach house we rented and we decided to take a dip in the sea. all of us – my husband and me, my brother and his wife and two kids, and my mom.
we frolicked and jumped over waves and laughed. we swam and licked the sticky salt from our lips. we were on vacation!
it didn’t occur to us that we were the only ones out there swimming. the locals avoided that area because of the strong undercurrent. they knew better. we didn’t.
my sis-in-law, the kids and i ended up nearer the shore than the others. we believe it was the hand of God, because when i heard my husband yell, “get help.” i was able to.
the current had dragged him and my brother and my mom out past the point of being able to stand. and it kept them there as it sucked and rolled, pulling and tossing them, making their efforts to swim back in fruitless and they were quickly becoming exhausted.
we yelled to a local fisherman who happened to be on the shore. my sis-in-law is from costa rica so she was able to communicate the danger. he swiftly took his boat out to begin the rescue.
it wasn’t easy. he had to work the boat in at the right angle and take care that the motor didn’t further endanger our loved ones. the time it took just to get it into position was painful. and then he had nothing but himself to leverage as he pulled and yanked and scratched my family into his boat.
as each life was arduously purchased from the sea, the others had to wait their turn, exhaustion and fear burning through them.
i learned later that my husband was crying out from the edge of the boat, “hurry señior, hurry. i can’t hold on much longer.”
there is no doubt that he did.
it couldn’t have been a coincidence that the fisherman was there on the shore – in fact, he was the only one and his was the only boat. and it was operable. and it had fuel.
it couldn’t have been a coincidence that our only costa rican in the group, the one who could fully communicate what was happening, was the closest to the shore and could reach him first.
it couldn’t have been a coincidence that shortly before the undercurrent dragged them out, they had sent my nephew to me, where i was able to bring him to the shore under my protection.
and it wasn’t a coincidence that my niece and i, knee deep in the ocean, prayed they would be rescued and they were.
no, they weren’t coincidences. they were the very hand of God.
i could have come home from that trip without a husband, a brother and a mom. we could have been one of those tragedies.
and i easily could have been out there with them, but God protected me. he saved me, too. he saved all of us that day.
it still disturbs me when i think about it and my heart catches. it makes me grateful for life. and i keep asking myself that since God has saved me,…
that question keeps haunting me.
he intervened and kept me here… for what? surely he has a plan for me. he’s given me skills and passions that i know was given to me by him to be used for his glory. he wants me to use them. he intends for me to use them.
am i? or was all that saving in vain?
how long will i allow my laziness or fear or lame excuses to keep me from living out the life God intends for me?
i’m always reading quotes about ‘living’ and ‘doing’ and ‘making it happen’ and instead of actually following through i just keep sitting on the couch reading more quotes about it.
no more dawdling.
there is no promise of more time, so now must be seized. don’t wait to be ready, work to be ready. sometimes it takes a second chance to make you look at what you’ve done with the first one. and if you did, would you like what you saw?
we know what he wants us to do. we know how he wants us to live. but we aren’t doing it. and we’re okay with that. aren’t we? otherwise, we’d be doing it.
we settle back and we say, tomorrow. and then sometimes, tomorrow gets swallowed by the sea.
we have purpose. we are intended. what are we doing with that?
God has saved you.
are you living the life he saved you for?
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