Friday, October 8, 2010

An Angel Dressed in Scuba-Diving Gear

 "...but when we cried out to the LORD,
He heard our cry and sent an angel..."
Numbers 20:16

For the last several summers, we have made it a tradition to vacation for a week at Camp Of The Woods Christian Family Camp in the Adirondacks of New York.  Some years other families and friends are with us, such as this past summer.  This year, one of the dads even borrowed a boat from a friend for the week so all the cherubs could enjoy water sports on picturesque Lake Pleasant, which is softly pillowed in the beautiful mountains surrounding camp.   

One particular afternoon, Jim was deemed the sole "captain of the ship" as the two other dads were going off-site for an excursion away from camp.  Jim was excited to be appointed captain and to take the kids out on the lake for an fun-filled afternoon of water tubing.  He was delighted to be the dad in charge and see the joy on the kids faces as they glided across the water and were bounced high into the air when they hit a wave.   
While Jim and the kids were out on the lake in the boat, the moms settled into our beach chairs with our toes blanketed by the sand.  We had books in hand to read and conversations cued up for some sweet fellowship. 

Pausing frequently to look for the boat so we could wave as the children whizzed by us on their tubes, we could not locate the boat.  Surely, they were out in the center of the lake and we would see them soon.  We tried to resume beach-relaxation mode, but my friend and I were quietly concerned after a chunk of time had gone by without spotting the boat.

Looking at our watches from time to time and scanning the lake for the familiar boat holding my husband and our children, our mommy hearts, though yet unspoken, were in united concern about the possibility of a danger and a boating mishap.  

After a time of a quiet waiting-and-scanning vigil, I turned to my friend and said, "Do you think this is too long of a time for them to be out on the lake in the boat without us seeing them?"  Her quick reply signaled the concern we had both quietly been feeling, "Yes!"  We began a calm but intense visual search of the waters for the boat.  Hearts racing, silent prayers were being lifted to the Lord for safety.

Finally, we saw the boat and our loved ones being pulled in by a would-be rescue boat.  Counting heads, we knew everyone was accounted for.  Thank you, Lord!  

As they got closer to shore, however, I could see the deeply-troubled countenance of my husband's face.  My heart sank.  Something obviously had gone wrong.  I felt the Lord impress on my heart immediately, "Just be quiet and pray."  

After everyone disembarked from the disabled boat, my husband walked slowly to the edge of the lake up onto the beach where I was waiting.  Making his way to our cabin just a few steps up from the beach, he said to me in a hushed voice, "I could use as much grace as you can possibly give me right now."

Quietness.  Prayer.  Grace.  And more grace.  That's what Jim needed from me at that moment.

Emerging from the cabin a few minutes later, Jim briefly told me that, while a few of the kids were getting in the water tubes, the ski ropes had gotten pulled into the engine of the boat and tangled so severely that the engine seized, rendering the boat lifeless.  My heart broke for him.  An afternoon of fun turned into an afternoon of a seemingly damaged boat that belonged to a friend of a friend.  Jim felt terrible.

He made his way back into the shallow water near the lake's edge to the debilitated boat to try to carefully get the ropes out of the engine.  Jim was by himself as the other dads were still off-site.  Jim worked and worked underwater, coming up frequently for breaths of air.  Cutting, pulling, cutting, pulling.  He struggled for what seemed like an eternity, while I kept a quiet, prayerful vigil nearby. 

Quietness.  Prayer.  Grace.  More grace.  

Seeing my husband wrestle to fix this situation, my heart cried out to the Lord in prayer.  "Lord, Jim can't stay under water for long enough periods of time to persist and get the ropes out of the engine.  He needs help.  Lord, would you please send an angel to help Jim?  He needs an angel, Lord."

I lifted my head, opened my eyes and turned toward the direction of the boat.  Immediately, God had sent an angel.  It was as if heaven had opened up and I could hear a choir of angels singing!  Out from the beach on the lake walked AN ANGEL DRESSED IN SCUBA-DIVING GEAR!!!  Scuba-diving gear!!!  Oxygen tank, mask, the whole nine yards!  God had sent an angel!  An angel sporting the appropriate wardrobe!!

My jaw dropped as I watched God's answer to prayer walk steadily out to my husband and the boat.  A scuba diver???  We were on a LAKE!!!!  We were not at the ocean!  There were no pretty fish or coral reeves to see in this lake.  In fact, the water was clouded, gray and peppered with debris.  Campers who have been going to COTW for decades said they have never seen a scuba diver at camp!  What is a scuba diver doing at Camp of The Woods on Lake Pleasant in the Adirondack Mountains of New York???  He was sent by God to help my husband. 
Rejoicing, I shouted in my heart, "Lord, you are amazing!!  Thank you for helping Jim and for sending an angel...a scuba-diving help him in his time of trouble!"

Jim was also in awe of God's goodness.  He touched the scuba diver and said, "Are you for real?  You're an angel, aren't you?"   

Only God.  Only God could send an angel in scuba diving gear to a lake that had never seen a scuba diver!  And, of course, the scuba-diving angel was successful!  He was able to stay under water for over 45 minutes until all of the rope was cut out safely from the boat's engine.

Beach-side cheers burst from we moms and kids when the final ropes were pulled from the engine and we heard it running again!!!  Woo Hoo!  The boat was fixed and would be returned to its owner in good condition!  Jim and all of the kids were safe.  My husband was relieved and grateful.  Our hearts were wowed by God's amazing faithfulness.
Our scuba diver angel and Jim.

My dear friend, Tricia, carrying out some remnants of the rope.
Tricia was also a beautiful part of the "Table For Two" miracle in Summer 2009.

Quietness.  Prayers.  Grace.  And more grace.  That's what my husband needed.  And that is what he received....and more!  God had sent an angel.  The same Lord who walked on water sent us an angel dressed in scuba gear finery.  Just the kind of angel we needed!

We have seen His glory.  Grace.  And more grace.  

"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."  John 1:14

more about our scuba-diving angel in an upcoming post....


Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

How amazing is our God? Really?

A SCUBA diver at camp? WOW!


Love you,

jim.sloan said...

You write so eloquently. I love this post. It takes me right back to that day and everything I was feeling! Our God is so faithful and so amazing and so thoughtfully tender to provide exactly what we needed. He answered your prayer very specifically that summer day, one which we will always remember. And thank you, my beautiful wife, for your immediate prayer and for showing me all of the grace you did that day. Your gentle quietness and grace were what I needed, and you were faithful to meet that need. I love you forever.

Ashok P 1974 said...

Matthew 14:22-36 (New International Version)
Jesus Walks on the Water:

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance[a] from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.

Ashok P.

Fields of gold said...

Wow! Tears in my eyes at God's faithfulness and amazing answers to prayer! It's hard to wrap my mind around the awesomeness of His personal touch and how closely He sees our every need.

Thank you for sharing that very way cool testimony!!

Love you, Sam

Mich said...

WOW! What a day you had. Love it when the Lord makes His presence known.

Kelly Combs said...

Wow. Grace. That is amazing. And isn't God so cool to answer prayer in such an apparent way. Glad all were safe.

Charlotte said...

Hi Sharon,
We just got home from the airport. We had a fun day in Ft. Lauderdale. Took a little riverboat cruise that went right by the Grandeur of the Seas. So I took some more pictures of it. Thanks for the nice comments on my blog. I will come back tomorrow and read yours. Love your header picture of your family. I'm so glad I met you on the cruise. Now I'll have another blogging friend that I've actually met.

Charlotte said...

Wow, Sharon, that is a fantastic story. I don't know if you have visited our Spiritual Sundays blog or not, but this post would be perfect to link there if you would like. I will put a new link post up later today for this weekend.
I posted about our cruise on my Charlotte's Weblog blog. That was such a wonderful experience. Meeting you and the others at our table made it even more special.
Hugs & blessings,

Heather said...

As magnificent in writing as it was in conversation! I think what I love most about this generous answer to prayer is the building up of His love in your marriage and how you both are able to seek Him, even in those moments that feel chaotic. This speaks to the example your marriage and faith provide for others. He uses your faith and obedience to minister to the hearts of those around you.

Beautifully written, Sharon, beautifully executed, God! Thankful all were safe and in His care.