‘Please Don’t Let Me Die
A peaceful, beautiful dive turned quickly into a nightmare.
The blue Bahamian waters looked more inviting than ever.
As we put on our scuba gear, my friend Mike and I talked excitedly about what awaited us underwater.
We eagerly anticipated the coral formations of all shapes and colors, the dazzling array of fish and other sea creatures and, most of all, the exciting surprises that the deep always holds in store.
We were full of confidence and felt ready to face the adventures that lay below our boat. After cleaning our masks and checking our regulators, we plunged into the calm, warm waters.
Time flew by as we swam leisurely around the silently beautiful coral reef, taking in the rainbow of colors and the variety of life. Then, below a formation of coral, I spotted the opening to what appeared to be a cave.
We had been taught to avoid such alluring places, but our curiosity overcame us. We dove deeper to reach the entrance of the cave.
As we neared the entrance, suddenly a torpedo-shaped object broke through the darkness of the cave’s mouth. It swam by us so fast, it appeared like a long blur to our eyes.
We spun around quickly, and found ourselves face-to-face with a very large, very agitated shark! My reaction was involuntary. I moved backward, pressing my back against the jagged coral around the mouth of the cave. Panic started as the shark began to circle in front of us, drawing closer with every pass. My mind desperately searched for an answer: Should I try to swim for the boat or take a shot at him with my spear gun?
As the shark drew nearer, I simply froze. Now my mind was concentrating on only one thing – crying out: God, living God, please save my life … God, please don’t let me die’
In a moment’s time, the shark suddenly lost interest in us and swam away. I could actually hear the throbbing of my 17-year-old heart as I breathed heavily from my air tank. With a speed I had not attained before, I swam frantically to the boat, with Mike not far behind.
What a relief to feel the safety of the boat deck. We looked back at the ocean, only to see the shark surface near our boat, swim beneath it and then dive into the obscurity of the deep.
We looked at each other in silent shock. Thanks, God, I thought. That was a day I won’t forget.
For weeks after that nerve-racking experience I kept asking myself: Why did I wait until I was face-to-face with disaster before I called out to God for His protection? Why didn’t I get in touch with God well before that near-fatal day?
These questions haunted me until I finally came to a conclusion. A teenager is old enough to prove whether God really does exist, and then to establish communication with that Creator God.
A great king of ancient Israel, a man named David, wrote, “‘For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth” (Psalm 71:5). David had learned as a teen that God is a mighty defender and preserver of those who not only believe He exists, but who obey Him (see I Samuel 17, especially verses 42 to 47).
If a person wants to get in touch with God, he or she must begin by proving that God truly exists. When Mike and I swam through that underwater wonderland, we noticed beauty and intricate design in everything we saw. These are evidences of the great Creator and Designer.
Looking at unspoiled nature, we can see the interdependence of all living things. This planet was made to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18), and its ingenious ecological systems were created by a Genius.
This same Genius is a God who answers prayers, especially the prayers of a person who believes in His existence and cares about pleasing Him (Hebrews 11:6, I Peter 3:12). He is also a highly compassionate Creator who will hear the destitute and the desperate (Psalm 102:17).
An awesome discovery
Since the teen years are years of discovery, right now would be a great time to make an awesome discovery. Discover for yourself whether God is a figment of men’s imaginations or whether He is indeed real. Here’s something that will help you make this invaluable discovery. See ‘Does God Exist’? on Page 1 of the America And Britain’s Free Library.
After taking this step, you will be ready to get in touch with the greatest power in the universe, and learn the purpose for your life and the secrets of lasting satisfaction. God wants us to talk to Him, and wants to give us the answers we need … ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you'” (Matthew 7:7).
Where are God’s answers found? In the Bible – a book that is inspired by God and useful to us (II Timothy 3:16- 17). The AC Course can assist you in learning what God has to say to you. Many young people who have taken the course say that it is fascinating and is easy-to-follow and that it has answered many of their questions. It’s also free. This begins in Page 4 of the America And Britains Future Free Library.
Incidentally, you might say that the encounter with that menacing shark changed my life. I’ve lost touch with Mike since then, but I have gotten in touch with a far more valuable friend. After that brush with tragedy, I made a decision to do the things I’ve suggested in this article.
I learned that God is quite real and very much alive. He cares (I Peter 5:7) and He makes the proofs of His existence clear to see (Romans 1:20). I learned that God is not just someone that you call on in moments of anguish or terror, but a Father who can be spoken to daily.
How about you? You don’t have to wait for a traumatic experience to have God’s guidance in your life.
Maybe now is your time to discover the one true God and get in touch with Him. If it is, you will be glad you did, and so will the God you will convincingly discover!
Mark Segall ‘Youth’
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