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A Great Adventure with Wind and Wave

FOUR of us boys wanted to go out fishing one time when I lived down in California. We were supposed to go in a boat on the river. We went to the river but could not get a boat there so we went out on the wharf at Long Beach. There the great long wharves go far out in the ocean, and we found some boats at the wharf. The fishermen went out from there with their nets and fished out of the boats.

      We were small boys and did not know the dangers of ocean fishing, but we rented a boat and went out into the deep, feeling certain we were going to have a real adventure, fishing so far from land.

      We hadn’t more than started to fish when a strong wind began to blow; the waves began to roll, and the sea began to rock. There we were in that little bit of a boat out on rough waters where we were not supposed to be. The waves rolled higher and higher. We tried to pull for the shore but the pulling was harder and harder. We found ourselves caught in the wind and we were being pulled right out to sea in spite of every effort we could make to pull for land.

      We were helpless. Our boat was like a cork in the raging waters. Waves were beating into the boat. We had a big five-gallon pail, and we began dipping water out of the boat; but it seemed the waters rolled in faster than we could dip them out. We could not see land on any side; we could not see a boat anywhere; and we were just about lost in that awful sea. It was then we knelt down in the boat and began to pray.


Just in Time

      We remembered that our mothers had told us that if we got into trouble at any time, we could call upon God and He would hear and answer our prayers. He did answer. We boys prayed to God with all our hearts. And as soon as we were through praying, we looked out over the waves – and as the boat came up on top of one of those great waves that rolled almost mountain high, we saw a boat coming our way.

      You can imagine the joy that was in our hearts as we caught sight of that boat when we were just about to capsize and be drowned. Our mothers would never have known anything about us or what had become of us. Isn’t it wonderful that God hears and answers prayer! That boat pulled up alongside us just in time, and we were carried safely to shore. How happy we were to be safe on land again!


Disobedience Brings Trouble

      It was because of disobedience that we had such a narrow escape. God was bringing us into judgment. Disobedience always gets one into trouble. If we do wrong, sometime and somewhere it will come back upon us and we will be sorry we did wrong. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

      We were just ready to perish when we were rescued. And, do you know, that is exactly the way Jesus rescues people when they are willing to throw up their hands and say, “God, help me!”

      Long ago, out upon the Sea of Galilee, a storm arose and the waves began to beat into a boat where Jesus was sleeping. The disciples came to Jesus and said, “Lord, save us: we perish.” Jesus awoke and he arose and spoke to the raging sea. He quieted the wind and waves and there was a great calm. Jesus wants us to know that He is a Friend in time of trouble. He is the One who can take us out of trouble, and keep us out.


A Narrow Escape

      On another occasion, when I was still a young boy, I was helping to haul dirt out from under a great bluff, furnishing clay for the brickmakers. Every once in a while they would blast that mountain and blast down a lot of loose dirt. I was driving a team of horses, and at a time when I had just hauled a load of dirt out from under the bluff, the whole mountainside caved in. If I had been a moment later, I would have been buried – my scraper and everything. I said, “Lord, You spared my life for some purpose.”


Cornered at Last

      I would often think that sometime I was going to get right with God but still I would cleave to the things of the world. I was still young and full of vigor. I had been spending my time seeking sinful pleasure. We can look about us in the world and see other young people who seem to have pleasure in wrongdoing. And if a person has not given his heart to Jesus and become a real Christian, if he has not been born again, he craves the same things they do – the theaters, the dances, the crime stories, the card games, and various sinful habits of the world. I craved those things, too; but many a time I would come home from a night of worldly pleasure with a broken heart. I would wet my pillow with tears, wishing I could find more happiness than I found in a life of sin. I smoked the cigarettes, danced, played cards, went to the theaters, and blasphemed.

      I finally left my home in Los Angeles, California, and came to Portland, Oregon, for a change. And here I heard the Word of Truth preached. I felt so guilty because of my sin that I would shake like an aspen leaf. I wondered what was the matter. I thought of going to a doctor to find out.

      God was striving with my heart in such a way I could not resist; and one night after hearing a sermon, He cornered me up and caused me to see my need of getting saved right then. Someone laid a hand upon my shoulder and said, “Won’t you come to God tonight?” I forgot about the friends, the job, and everything else, and I said, “Yes, Lord, I will come tonight.” I settled it that night that I would go through with God at all costs. God saved me, and He delivered me from my sins.


Greatest Joy on Earth

      I went back to my place of work; and my life was so absolutely changed that my old associates came, one after another, wondering what had happened. My life told the change, but my lips had a chance, too, to tell what Jesus had done for me. I did not want to smoke the cigarettes any more. I had no desire to gamble, nor to run to the amusements of the world.

      The Lord was very good to me. He gave me a happy heart, a heart that loves to do the right thing. After He saved me, He sanctified me, and then He baptized me with the Holy Ghost. He has kept me for many years, and I have found that the greatest joy on earth is to be a real Christian and give my life in service to Jesus. He has kept me from sin, and I thank Him that I have a hope of having a mansion in the skies.

      Yes, God is a loving and merciful God. There is not one person whom Jesus does not love. He loves the young as well as the old. He wants to save them while they are young and give them the best there is in life. The Bible says: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). It does not say to wait until we are old. We have no promise that we will have a chance to be saved later on in life.


“Someday” May Never Come

      You may plan to be a Christian someday after you have grown older, after you have spent a few more years in sinful pleasures, but that day may never come. None of us know how long we will live. Even though young people may be strong and well today, they do not know for certain that they will live and grow to manhood or womanhood.

      Sometimes we read of the young who have been killed in accidents – run over by a car, or perhaps drowned, or they may have lost their life in some other unexpected manner without a moment’s notice. Others have died of some fatal disease. But the one who lives to please his God and Creator is happy. He is not worried about what may happen in the future.

      One morning, after I became a Christian, I was going along on my motorcycle – and something unexpected happened. I struck a telephone post, and was picked up almost dead. When I came to myself I was in a hospital. I said to the nurse, “What does this mean?” She said, “You had a motorcycle accident and almost killed yourself.” I thought, how quickly a person could be taken out of this world without a moment’s warning. If I had not been right with God, and had died, what would have been my doom? I was unconscious and had no chance to pray – and there would have been no way of getting saved after I died.

      Do you see what it means always to be ready to meet Jesus? I never dreamed that I was going to have an accident when I started out that morning. It is a dangerous thing to go on in sin and think: Someday I will get right with God. Remember, that “someday” may never come.

      If you are not a Christian, get down on your knees while you are still young and ask God to save your soul. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1: 9). Give your heart to Jesus. Promise Him you will live for Him. Keep your promises to Him and He will keep His promises to you. There are many wonderful promises in the Bible. Read them every day; watch and pray; and God will keep you free from the sins of this world and make you ready to meet Jesus when He comes again. – R.R.C.