It was 2:30 A.M. and I awoke with an urgency in my spirit like never before. I needed to pray for my son. Our son Caleb was in Indonesia at the time so I laid in bed and prayed. “Lord please be with him.” I thought I could go back to sleep but there was no way. My soul was restless with urgency and I began to cry, and cry out to our mighty God for his safety, his health, over and over again. It was a good 45 minutes to an hour before I had peace and could go back to bed.
Sometimes we are called to pray and we have no idea why. We have no words just a sense that we need to do it.
My son came home yesterday after being gone for seven weeks and started talking about his trip. One of the things he shared rocked me to my core. He was snorkeling off the shore of a beach when he felt something “pull” on his leg. Thinking nothing of it, he continued to enjoy the beauty under the vast sea.
The pull became stronger and he realized that he might be in a rip tide. Living by Lake Michigan Caleb knows about rip tides and how to swim out of them so he proceeded to swim parallel to the shore in an attempt to leave the tide area. His attempt was not successful. The pull was strong, and he was getting farther and farther from shore. He was using his flippers to push off the coral in order to get his snorkel above the wave so he could get a breath. The waves were pounding him and growing in size knocking his mask from his face as he struggled to swim. Suddenly he did not have coral under him anymore, and as he looked into the water he saw that he had gone off the reef and over a deep dark drop off.
The waves increased in size and power, hitting him and breaking the clip that held the snorkel to his mask. He struggled with all he had, adrenaline pumping through his veins. The water on the surface was really rough, and as he tried to keep his head above water to breathe he was inhaling water with each breath.
“Keep calm,” he told himself.
There was an old shipping dock in the area with the posts still standing. He was swimming in that direction and finally made it to one of the pillars thinking he could hold on and catch his breath. The post was too wide to get his arms around and it was slippery with algae. Holding on was nearly impossible. Then he saw that there was a bar above his head attached to the post. Using the power of the next wave he thrust himself up and grabbed onto that bar.
He was exhausted but was able to wave one of his arms and call out for help. He was completely stuck and then…… his hand strength gave out and he fell back into the raging sea. He said “I knew that there was nothing left for me at that point. I was completely helpless, breathing in water and out of energy, getting pounded by the waves. My muscles had no strength left to even stay above the surface.” He fell onto his back and laid against the water, thinking he was going to drown long before he would make it back to shore. He called out to the LORD just as two waves came at him in a V formation and launched him to a post that was closer to shore. He grabbed that post then noticed a pattern in the waves and was able to use them to float him closer and closer to shore and into shallow water.
Several hours after he told me this story of God reaching His hand into that sea and saving him I remembered that I had been woken in the night about two weeks after he left. I asked him if this rip tide happened around 2-3 in the afternoon and he said yes, I think it was around that time of day. I then went back through my text messages as I had texted a friend of mine to tell her that I had been up in the middle of the night with a strong urgency to pray. June 17. I asked Caleb if he knew what date the rip tide happened. He went and got his journal and looked it up. June 17!
On June 17 he was being swept to sea and as the waves pounded him over and over and OVER again his mama was awoken by God and was praying for his safety over and over and OVER again.
Do I think that if I didn’t pray it would have changed the outcome? I don’t know, but what I do know is this: Jesus is alive and the Holy Spirit is active and God has a plan. I know without a doubt that this is no coincidence. I know without a doubt that as we rejoice in the life of our son we praise a God who is loving, and compassionate and his mercies and new every day.
I know that sometimes we don’t know how to pray but we can just simply pray. I know that God truly has my children in HIS PALM and I need not fear.