It was a coastal wind and it was biting. We were at our usual spot on the beach in Santa Monica early-at a time when few others had yet to wake up from the night. Towels served as insufficient blankets, noses popping out for air as we sat on the sand, watching our brothers surf.
Eventually, the usual crowd of sun-seekers would come, but for now, it was just our small group and a few tourists who had come to take advantage of the beach outside their hotels. A typical morning that would soon become the day we stood trembling, our hands formed in teepees against our lips, eyes strained open in fear.
The boys had finished their morning surf session and we all sat on the wet sand, watching the tumultuous waves of a sudden riptide.
We had learned from a young age to allow the vast ocean to pull us out beyond our comfort level when we sensed the powerful draw of a riptide, drifting beyond the waves and then calmly swimming to the right or left, down the beach and forward again to safety on the shore. One’s natural inclination is to swim back to the beach, followed by panic as the arms of the sea hold tightly, sucking you back-a vortex of the will of the ocean against your own.
The next moments exhaust the body and the danger of drowning becomes a real and perilous danger.
Nearby, a few tourists mingled. We would later discover that they were in town for a wedding and lived in a landlocked state-the ocean a wonder to them.
Two young boys were bravely enduring the chill and splashing about happily near the shore. Soon, the waves began to draw them further towards the dark waters of the deep and their father plunged in after them. Noticing the women standing by the edge of the whitewater in a panic, our brothers ran down the beach to a distant lifeguard station for help.
The father had reached his sons and we stood relieved as he pushed them forward into a wave and onto the shore and then just as quickly, he himself sunk under the water and did not reappear.
Lifeguards in red swim trunks dove into the breakers, searching. At last, they surfaced with the father and began to perform life saving measures there in the waves. The paramedics arrived and several rescuers performed CPR, trying to revive him as his family stood by trembling in shock. Eventually, they loaded him into an ambulance and transported him to a nearby hospital.
We would later learn that he suffered a massive heart attack in the water, and tragically, he lost his life that day.
That father gave his life for his sons, and for all their days they would remember his final act of love for them. I’ll never forget it either. It was a tragically vivid reminder to me that God, my Father, gave His Son for my own life. God came down in the form of His Son, Jesus, and willingly died so that I would not have to.
I too was drowning-under the weight of sin, and as Jesus hung dying on the cross, I figuratively stood there, helplessly watching, just as I did that day on the beach. The good news is that Jesus rose again on the third day, and is seated in Heaven at the right hand of God. I get to join Him one day soon!
And yet, we often go through life as though we were still sputtering about, flailing for help, all the while missing the buoy right in front of us. Don’t allow the burdens of your problems or the evil in the world to cause you to miss the truth that God gave you His best gift first-His only Son:
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
Do you want to ask Jesus to wash away your sins and to spend eternity with God in Heaven? Pray with me:
“God, I know that I am a sinner and that I have done things that are wrong. Forgive me for my sin, wash it away and cleanse my heart. I believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross for my sins in my place. Help me God, to have a new life with You. You have now made me a new creation. Thank You, God! Enter my life and help me to live for You instead of myself. I give my heart, my mind, and my soul to You from this day forward. Fill me with Your joy and peace, and bring people into my life that will support me and encourage me. In Jesus, Name, Amen!
If you prayed this prayer today, you are a Christ-follower! Welcome to the family, friend! And please, find a solid Bible-teaching church in your area, if that is possible, and let them know that you are a new believer. And I would love to know too so that I can be praying for you! Please send me an email or find me on my Mother Of Knights Facebook page and share the good news with me! Blessings to you!
YOUR TURN! How old were you when you were saved? Who or what influenced you the most at that time?
Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well! View an Exciting Reality Show Life By Design, A TV Project with Lisa Leonard, Holley Gerth, and Dee Kasberger!