An Unseen Hand
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. ~ ISAIAH 43:1-3
On Labor Day, 1965, a group of us went for a swim at Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Island. It was such a low tide that we waded out far beyond the small breakers to our waist depth. Off the Carolina coast, however, were three hurricanes churning their way northward. We had no idea they would cause problems for us so far away.
Suddenly, we were all pulled out over our heads by a rip current. Our 12-year-old Janet, though she could swim, was being pulled out farther. I grabbed the straps of her bathing suit and just held on. I myself was a strong swimmer, but never before had I experienced any current like this. Ted, also a swimmer, grabbed Judy, then 9 years old, who could neither swim nor float. As I saw her arm around his neck, holding on for dear life, it occurred to me that if she pulled Ted down, we could lose them both.
We did a lot of praying and treading water in that half hour of terror. Finally, lifeguards realized we were in trouble, and our rescue began. We found out later that trying to swim straight in was impossible with the circulation of the current, and this is what had exhausted us so much.
Looking back over the 54 years since this experience, I realize that we were sustained both emotionally and physically that day by an unseen hand. Thank you, Lord, for saving us that day, and...
Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul Thank you, Lord, for making me whole Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.
KATHRYN DAVISON, EVANGELICAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH & UNITED METHODIST COMMUNITIES, PITMAN