When my brother turned ten years old our family had a birthday party for him at the Holiday Inn. In the indoor courtyard there was a large pool, and my cousin and I, who were seven and eight years old at the time, were having a great time in the shallow end of the pool. Assuming my cousin could swim, I asked her to jump into the deep end with me, and when we landed in the water, she began to sink.
In panic for her life, she latched on to the top of my shoulders and held me underneath the water as she tried to keep above the water’s surface. I frantically struggled to be released from her grip but couldn’t escape. I was under the water for what felt like was an eternity, and without air, my body became limp and I lost all strength to fight for my life. When my body become completely still, I knew at that moment that I was going to drown, and I prayed to God some final words.
When the prophet Elijah fled to the wilderness after the great battle on Mount Carmel, he also faced great danger and death. King Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, had killed many of the Lord’s prophets, and he was next on the list. Hiding alone in the mountains, his strength was running out, and he prayed to God about his life. He was so greatly discouraged that he even said: “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life” because he couldn’t carry on (1 Kings 19:4). After praying to God, he sat beside a broom tree and fell asleep--maybe even expecting to remain asleep. But at that moment, God performed a great miracle in his life. He sent one of His angels to encourage Elijah and provide his needs for physical strength so that he could face the journey that was set before him and live (1 Kings 19:5). God also performed this kind of miracle in my life.
As I was drowning below the water’s surface my memory stopped. I later found out that a man who none of us knew, who was nowhere near the right vantage point to see what was happening, came running as fast as possible and jumped into the pool. He pulled us out of the water and saved my life. And after checking my breathing and if I was going to be okay, he left, and we never saw him again.
My personal story and many others reminds me of what David wrote in Psalm 94:17-19: “Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul would soon have settled in silence. If I say, ‘My foot slips,’ Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” Circumstances in life, sin and problems in this corrupt world can leave us without strength and threaten our lives. But it’s important to realize that we are never alone, and our loving God performs great miracles and saves lives.