The Hurricane

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The Hurricane
« on: June 29, 2009, 08:04:51 pm »
"O Lord, I haven't been a very good Christian and I'm a terrible sinner, but please help us before we drown...”

Twin fountains of muddy water splashed into the air as the car left the road and plunged into what was left of a farmer's field. The two men inside were violently thrown inside the car. Luckily both were wearing shoulder harnesses so their injuries were slight. But both discovered that a few bumps and bruises were the least of their worries at the moment. Slowly and steadily the automobile was sinking into the water and mire. They would either have to swim or drown.

The men struggled out of their harnesses as water gushed in around the doors. A strong current was against them at first and the door wouldn't budge. Finally with a mighty heave, fueled by overwhelming panic, they got one of the doors open and splashed their way out of the sinking vehicle.

It was pitch dark. The water was freezing cold. Violent winds lashed a curtain of rain into cutting sheets of icy water. The storm had been going on now for the better part of a day.

The men had been on a business trip when the first Hurricane Watch was issued. Their first thought was to come home and care for their families. But this was an important meeting -- not one to be missed by a young man on the fast track to success. So they had waited until almost the last minute -- until the storm was almost upon them. By the time they were only a few miles from home, the storm was bellowing with 90-mile-per-hour winds. They had almost made it, but the road had suddenly disappeared beneath their automobile. Now they found themselves neck deep in a raging torrent from which there seemed no escape.

"Bill," the first man yelled into the howling wind. "Where are you?"

A streak of lightning shot through the sky. A clap of thunder rolled through the soggy heavens.

"Bill!" the first man cried again. "Answer me."

"I'm over here, Jack," came a faint reply. "Over here!"

Jack squinted his eyes, trying to peer through the rain but he could see nothing.

"Are you okay?" Jack shouted into the wind.

"Yeah," was the faint reply. "But we're gonna drown if we don't get out of here. This current is murder."

Another bolt of lightning, then a tremendous clap of thunder. For a moment Jack thought he saw Bill struggling in the water. "Over here!" Jack shouted.

"I can't see you," Bill answered. "All this water and mud is in my eyes. I can't see anything."

"Follow the sound of my voice," Jack bellowed over the storm. "I'm over here."

Then Jack began to pray. "O Lord, I haven't been a very good Christian and I'm a terrible sinner, but please help us before we drown. Our families need us. Please, Lord. Help me find Bill and get us out of this mess. Amen."

Suddenly Jack felt someone grab his hand and start pulling. "Wait a minute, Bill. Where are you going?"

"I don't know," he heard a voice reply. "I can't tell one direction from the other. But I'm heading somewhere. Hold on tight."

Jack felt his friend pull him again. Oh, well, he figured, one way is as good as another. Jack started moving forward. The wind-lashed rain stung his face and grimy water dripped into his eyes. He was moving blind.

The soft earth of the field was now deep mud. It sucked at his feet and pulled at his legs. He lost his shoes in the sticky slime. His suit was water-drenched and heavy. If the water got over his head, he knew that he would surely sink to the bottom.

But what was this? Was the water getting shallower? Now it was only to his waist -- now to his knees. Then to his ankles. He felt the hand let go as he stumbled onto firm ground. Jack promptly looked for Bill, but he was not there. He squinted again into the storm and saw his friend stagger up a little bank onto a grassy knoll, about 150 feet to his right. The current was still strong. He must have been swept down stream at the last minute, just as Jack had reached high ground. Thank God he had made his way to shore.

Jack struggled to his feet, uttered a silent "Thank you, Lord," and made his way down the grassy bank to the spot where Bill was kneeling and coughing up muddy water from his lungs. There was another brilliant flash of lightning and a deafening clap of thunder. "Are you all right, Bill," Jack asked anxiously as he put his arm over his friend's back.

"Yeah, I think so," Bill sputtered. Then Bill sat down on the bank, trying to catch his breath. "Now, what are we going to do. The car's gone and we can't get back across that," he said as he nodded toward the raging torrent in front of them.

"I guess the best thing to do is to find shelter and wait it out. I remember a little cave near here. If we can reach that, we'll be okay until the storm clears."

Bill nodded. Jack helped him to his feet. "And, thanks," Bill said. "Thanks for pulling me out of the water and saving my life. I didn't know which way to go."

Jack laughed. "I think you're the one who had a hold of me rather than me having hold of you. I was about to thank you for the same thing."

Suddenly Bill stopped and turned to his friend. "Wait a minute. You were a good distance away from me when we found this bank. But you said that I had you, and I say that you had me. The truth is that neither one of us had the other.

"What are you saying," Jack asked, suddenly becoming very nervous.

"If you were all the way up there and I was all the way down here," Jack asked, "then who was holding our hands?"
 
"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise."   (James 5:13 )