Last Breath Gives Hope
It wasn’t long before it would be too cold catching the last awesome waves before fall. My high school friend and I decided to head for the beach and hit some waves (body surfing). Of course, by the time we got down there, it was cloudy, and riptide warnings given. But we were strong swimmers and knew what we were doing (though we thought).
We were having such a great time! The waves were so big, and we were having a blast. No one was at the beach—not even a life guard. It was all to ourselves!
My friend wasn’t too far from me, but it was enough to cause a separation between a couple of waves; allowing her to get back to shore without as much of an effort. Without warning, things shifted and the waves became HUGE! I tried to swim in, but I had to turn back to swim back over the waves—to not be crushed (which means going out further). Unfortunately, without knowing at the time, I was entangled and deeply snared.
The waves soon became too big and powerful. I was getting tired. How many more waves could I keep swimming over (to avoid being smashed underwater), and the uselessness of trying to get back to shore? I knew how to swim in riptides (diagonally in a zig-zag motion), and that pride got me into the mess I was in.
Tired, muscles feeling like rubber, numb, and panicked, I was in a terrible situation, and no time to think things through anymore. I couldn’t stay above the water anymore. The riptides had soon over-powered me, and in my weakness, the waves were too powerful and I began to get slammed down underwater.
The waves began to thrash me about; dragging and twisting me in every direction. I opened my eyes in salty water; trying to see which way the bubbles were going, but the bubbles were spinning in all directions. I managed to find my way to the surface and gasp for air just as another wave came crashing down; leaving me spiraling and being dragged along the ocean floor like a Raggedy-Ann doll.
I, again, attempted to try to get to the top. When I felt the ocean floor, I placed my feet on the sandy ground, and with all of my might, I pushed up and swam as hard as I could; only to get smashed down again after reaching the surface with little air before another huge wave crashed down on me!
At that point I couldn’t do it anymore. I was out of breath, and out of all my strength. I knew I was going to drown—I was out of time!
Out of breath, beyond exhausted, unable to fight, packed with sand from the dragging along the ocean bottom, too far from shore, and out of hope, I cried out to G-d (obviously in my mind—not outwardly to get water in my mouth)!! I told HIM I couldn’t do it anymore, and asked Him to help me. I needed HIM! I was so scared (thirty-some years later, and I still tear-up).
As soon as I called out to HIM for help, something amazingly happened! Though I couldn’t see who or what, but an amazing strong Almighty Power reached down into the depths of the riptides that bound me, and there was a rushing of water I was brought (carried) up out of the water– able to gasp for air. G-d, or one of His angels, I know, protected me. Though the waves were still huge, none of them dragged me down. I was freed. I was able to swim in the zig-zag motion without any of the waves crashing on me. I soon could see my friend. She was running up and down the shoreline calling out my name—expecting to find a dead body.
I got to shore and my friend grabbed my arm and helped me up the dry sandy area, and I collapsed. She said she didn’t know what to do. She would see my head pop out of the water and another wave would crash down over me for long periods of time.
We had made a huge mistake acting cool, haughty, and prideful—especially me.
Analogy: When we allow sin into our lives, like the riptides, we need to stay away from it. If we act out in our Nefesh, and become prideful and haughty (by saying I can handle it, I’ve done it before), we become entangled, and before we know it, ha’Satan (Satan) has his grip on us. In our own efforts the enemy uses it against us to oppress and weaken us.
Out of breath, out of time, out of hope (from our own efforts), can we finally allow HIS GLORY to lift us out of the dirt (or should I say sand) we’re in.
In my efforts I had nothing. I was over-powered and weakened quickly. In Adonai’s strength, and finding my hope in HIM, behold a mighty strong arm WHO can reach into the depths of darkness and bring us to light.
When this happened, I didn’t have salvation. I didn’t know who God really was. But when I called out to HIM with my last breath of life, HE answered my cry; knowing in time I would SEEK after HIM.
I am humbled by the love and mercy HE has for someone like me to give me ‘time’ and set my path to be introduced to Him many years later.
He loves you, too. And if you do not know HIM yet, he is just a thought, a call, a cry out to, and a prayer away. Do not delay in seeking Him. We never know when we will have that last breath.
Isaiah 40:28-31, 28 Haven’t you known, haven’t you heard that the everlasting God, ADONAI, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not grow tired or weary? His understanding cannot be fathomed. 29 He invigorates the exhausted, he gives strength to the powerless. 30 Young men may grow tired and weary, even the fittest may stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in ADONAI will renew their strength, they will soar aloft as with eagles’ wings; when they are running they won’t grow weary, when they are walking they won’t get tired. (Complete Jewish Bible)
Shamira the Shepherdess (P. Miller)