Have you ever had a time where you knew, I mean just KNEW you had faced fear and death? If you have, it's not something you'll ever forget.
When I was 18 years of age, at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I met fear and death face to face. It wasn't something I'd want to re-live. But, it's something I'll never forget.
My girlfriend, at the time, and her family invited me on their vacation at Myrtle Beach. I was excited about going, but not too excited about the beach. She was one who loved to lay on the beach in the sun. I like the old, trustworthy beach umbrella.
One day, we went down to the beach. My girlfriend, to lay in the sun and me....well....to try and do anything BUT lay in the sun. Those of you, especially guys, who don't enjoy laying in the sun, know what I'm talking about.
She brought a book to read and I decided to spend some time in the water instead of laying in the sun, being grilled like a good sirloin.
Now, this back in the day of the canvas rafts. Remember those rafts? They were made of canvass and you could rent them. Some would try to ride waves on them and others would just like to lay on the water.
Considering I swam and still swim like a rock, I rented one of those rafts to just hang onto it in the water and enjoy the calming effect of the ocean. So, I rented one and went out into the water.
I didn't lay on the raft, I just kind of dangled...with my arms resting on the raft and my feet in the water.
Then after a few moments, I felt my legs, little by little being pulled under the raft. I was still hanging onto the raft, but I could feel my legs being pulled down.
Then I felt them being pulled not only down, but under the raft. As my legs and feet were pulled under the raft, the raft came up on its side. As it did, I lost touch with the raft and was pulled under the water.
I knew something was terribly wrong. My head was above water but I looked and there was no one near where I was. I went under the water. As I came back up I noticed there was still no one around me.
I then went under the water a second time. I knew then, if I went under a third time, that would be it. I wouldn't make it out of the water alive.
I went under for the third time. As I did, I cried out quietly, within myself; "Lord help me!" When I came up from that third time, there was a man swimming toward me.
There was a strong undertow where I was with the raft. I know this, because later that week, lifeguards were out in the water to help someone else. They were in the same part of the water I had been in.
As the man swam closer to me, he wasn't out of breath at all. He was very calm and comforting in his words. He said to hold onto him and we would make it back to the beach. I was just the opposite. I wasn't calm at all.
As we made it to the shore, I walked through the people watching. What was strange was that none of them noticed me. They were all looking out toward the water. After a couple of seconds I looked behind me. The man who pulled me out was gone! He had disappeared, as there was no one talking or questioning him either, for he wasn't there.
When I reached my girl friend, she even asked what was going on out there? I was embarrassed, so I only said "I don't know". We went on about our activities and finished the vacation. I never told her what had happened.
That day, death came knocking at the door of my life. But through faith and God's grace, I believe He had sent an angel in human form to save me. Keep in mind, I hadn't put my faith in Jesus yet. I only knew about God. But, I knew enough to cry out to Him, when death came knocking at my door.
Develop your faith, as you escape fear. Now, keep in mind, Jesus said if you have faith as a mustard seed, which is one of the smallest seeds, your faith will have great impact.
You have faith. Just let that faith develop and grow. As you do, you'll be able to exercise it when a problem or situation knocks on your door.