Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

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by Karina Simpson

by Karina Simpson

Editor's Note: Karina is a young and active member of the Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church.  She wrote this article some months back and it has been published in the youth magazine The Edge.  Other articles in this magazine can be found in the Internet at <>   This article was in the issue dated 17 June 2006.  Another of her articles was on page 11 of the issue of 23 September 2006, and was featured on the cover.  We are using the article here with the permission of The Edge.

I was swimming at the beach on the weekend. I know it was winter and a ridiculous thing to be doing, but a friend and I donned our wetsuits and headed out. My friend took out his board and I swam out with him to wait for that wave. The wave arrived and carried him toward the shore, leaving me alone.

I felt a surge of water dragging me further away from shore. I have to admit it is not something I would like to feel again. I looked toward the shore; something was missing. The beach was getting further and further away rather than closer.

I swam frantically toward shore.

I could hear water surging up behind me. I tried to put it out of my mind. Then it crashed on top of me.

I was no longer trying to find the shore, but desperately trying to breathe. I was thrown around and around, over and over. I was completely disorientated and I didn't know which way was up until I face-planted into the sand.

I dug my hands into the sand and pushed up. Glad to be above the surface again, I took large gulps of air and pushed my hair out of my face so I could see where I was. I had barely managed this when I was swept under again by the next wave. My lungs were burning by the time I found the surface this time; but I could also stand.

A third wave knocked me over and forced my feet to touch the back of my head. Now I was exhausted and my back was aching. When I stood up I was grateful to find that the water was only waist deep. I was closer to shore, but I still had to fight the outgoing water and the huge incoming waves. Finally I crawled ashore. I lay down on the beach and closed my eyes and did not move.

What I would have given to have had one of the boys in red and yellow reach down and pull me out of the water. He didn't even have to be cute. I would have been happy for him to look like a hairy biker in Speedos.

I wondered what it would be like if lifesavers got paid commission. Do you think there would be a lot more lifesavers on our beaches? Perhaps there would be one every couple of metres up and down the beach during summer, making the beach the safest place to be. And in winter poor lifesavers would sit on the beach wrapped in blankets for those stupid enough to be swimming in the cold. Just so they could make just a little extra money.

Then I thought of other people who get paid commission and my stomach turned. Imagine if that were the case with lifesavers. Imagine if a money-hungry lifesaver decided to put the flags on either side of a rip to guarantee him more rescues that day. Or what else they might do to guarantee more money?

This made me think about our Lifesaver.

God doesn't get paid commission to save us. He does it because He loves us. So many times we get swept away completely out of our depth and are unable to save ourselves. It is then that we pray and ask God to grab His board and little red and yellow cap and swim out to us, lifting us above the water and carry us back into shore.

The devil, like the surf, can try to drown us, disorientate us and even cause us pain. He will try hard not to let us go, but there is nothing he can do against our Lifesaver.

For a moment the devil had thought he had won for good, when God allowed Himself to be "drowned". It's really odd to think He "drowned" so I never have to.

I know God didn't actually drown, but was nailed to a cross. It is the concept though. I thought I might drown and that was bad enough. Imagine knowing that if you don't drown you will lose millions and millions of people.

Even knowing that I don't think I could stop fighting to find the surface. Jesus didn't give up because He was tired He did it for me. Then He came to life and now He can save me if I want Him to.

I would have given anything to feel that reassuring hand on my shoulders, pulling me out of the water that weekend. How much more should I want to give, knowing that not only is my Lifesaver on the shore waiting for me to stuff up, but He's also swimming alongside me so I do not have to wait for Him.

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