Deep Calleth Unto Deep

By all accounts I should be dead. Frankly, I am very surprised I am not. What I experienced the night of September 6 tested my endurance and sanity in ways I never thought I could survive. Further, it tested my faith in God, in His existence and
“Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth? Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?” (Job 38:16-1716Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth? 17Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? (Job 38:16-17)).
The sea is smooth and the traffic is light. I head off towards the north choosing a very direct route toward Active Pass. Phoning home, I let them know that I am on my way and arrange to speak again around 5:30 p.m. when I
I begin to reflect on many of my life’s challenges and difficulties. I think of my career, and the weight of the past few years begins to rear its ugly head in my mind. My dream career as an airline pilot now appears to have been all but
With a heavy heart, I begin to speak out loud in prayer: “Lord, what’s going on?”
Now, to straighten up below deck. I go below and turn on the navigation lights, and then I strip the bedding, bringing some of it up on deck to fold so I can continue keeping a proper watch. I clamber onto the starboard stern quarterdeck and fold the pillowcases
Having so recently eaten my supper and now hyperventilating with the cold water and the momentary explosion of exertive energy, my stomach is in knots. Again I take stock. What can I do? I look at my watch and note the time, 6:37 p.m. Well, in less than
In very short order I recognize that my progress is quite slow. I sense the burden of my pants. They are dragging me to a snail’s pace. I think about any warmth they are giving me and weigh that against the speed that I hope I will
With one pant leg full of air, my left hand holding the waist, I nestle the inflated leg under my chest such that my head can rest on top. With a resolve that had to come from the bottom of my soul...from the deepest recess of
“Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me....Hear me, O Lord; for Thy loving-kindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies. And hide not Thy face from Thy servant; for I
As I swim along, choking on the water, struggling through the fatigue, I begin to think about these thoughts and where they came from. Was this real? Who was I just talking to? God? The conversations were so real. I try to continue them of my own volition; I
I am so cold and tired. My neck is sore from constantly straining it back to keep my face above water, so I turn and lay my head to the side, on top of the inflated pants...as if the pants are a pillow. I begin to hum. Nothing in
As my breathing calms from the scare of almost losing consciousness, I start thinking of things I had accomplished over my life. First, I’m thankful for all the lifeguard training...for all the good it is going to do as I die tonight, but at least it is keeping my
A peculiar thought comes to mind. I know people will find my boat and my body. I begin to suspect that soon after my death a rumor will start... he killed himself... you know he wasn’t happy...it was suicide. I contemplate this for a moment, and I resolve,
Back onto my front, stroke, kick, stroke, kick, stroke, kick. This is becoming wearisome. I look at my watch and realize that the fiftieth anniversary celebration is now over for my in-laws. “Hey, Happy Anniversary Jack and Lula. You won’t forget this one... guess what? I’ve set a record. I’ve
The pain and the exhaustion have taken their toll. Hypothermia is my constant companion. I know I can’t go on. With an anguished soul and with tears in my eyes I roll onto my back one last time and I exclaim, “Lord, I can’t
Land! I can’t believe it.
In an almost trance-like mind I gaze down at the water, panting like a deranged grizzly bear. I stop only for a moment to compose myself and my thoughts. I yell, “Don’t stop!” I wrench my pants off my shoulder where I had draped them for the
My heart is pounding so hard my neck is hurting. Suddenly the shoreline makes a sharp turn to the left. The inlet completely disappears into the black oblivion of the night. “O Lord...now what?”
Thump, thump, thump, my stocking feet and laborious gate swagger in a determined rhythm toward the next home. As I make my way, I try to formulate what I am going to say. Help? Save me? Hello? Onto their driveway, past the open garage, onto the doorstep. I raise
Bonnie continues on the telephone and now has a patch through to the coast guard hovercraft. Once more the telephone is handed to me. A man identifies himself as the captain of the coast guard vessel and asks me if I was wearing a life
Behind the scenes, of course, a great deal of other activity was happening.
Although much has been said about my strength and determination, I don’t see it that way. I did not have the strength or the determination to do this journey. No one does. I was in an impossible situation and I knew it. At least three times during the
No doubt, you see that I have some sort of faith in a divine being. Further, the fact that I refer to Him personally as the Lord Jesus should tell you that I am a Christian. Perhaps you are inclined to think, like those
So, there in the deep, I conversed with God. God, the Lord Jesus Christ. If Jesus were not God, why did He speak to me? Was this my imagination? No. I can now say, Unequivocally not. The impressions and conversations were too lifelike. There were
Notwithstanding all the previous comments, the most miraculous occurrence to me throughout the evening was the peace that pervaded my soul in the face of death. How can I explain the absolute peace that so enveloped me throughout the entire night? I confronted death, but
So first and foremost I offer an apology to the Lord Jesus Christ. I did not trust Him when I should have. I threw His Word at Him in a challenge, yet He lovingly accepted the provocation and gently told me to “keep swimming.”
May I ask you something? Would you confront death, face to face, and have no fear? Can you say honestly that you know you are saved and will pass through the transition of death into the presence of a just and holy God...without fear?
In the Book of Genesis there is a story of a man named Jacob, with whom I can identify completely. He too had a night of private conversations with God. I believe that everyone who desires to live righteously and for God
“I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and He heard me; out of the belly of [the grave] cried I, and Thou heardest my voice.