In 1942, three naval airmen found themselves lost at sea, with only a 4×8′ rubber raft, a pocketknife, a pistol and the clothes on their back to aid in their survival. Imagine watching the search and rescue plane fly over head, only to pass you by. Imagine being surrounded by turbulent saltwater as far as the eye can see, while enduring endless days of blistering heat followed by endless nights of soggy sleeplessness. Imagine rejoicing when the sky finally gives you a drink of rain, only to be thrown into the sea by the angry storm. Imagine being taunted by sharks, up-to 15-feet long. For 34-days, these men faced all of this and more.
The pilot was a skilled navigator and tried to guide their raft toward a non-enemy island, using the stars to chart his course, but they were often at the mercy of the wind in spite of best efforts. Toward the end, they were too weak to do much but hope. And having surrendered everything but their will to live, the trio could hardly believe their eyes when they saw land in front of them… they were safe. Alive.
This amazing, true story of survival may seem like nothing you’ve experienced… but haven’t you? Isn’t this the story of man? A great fall. Becoming lost. Facing adversity. Highs. Lows. Struggling to gain control of the uncontrollable. Ultimate weakness. Surrender. Faith. Rescue.
Once we have been saved, the question becomes, what will we do with this gift of life? Do we remember how narrowly we’ve escaped death? Do we live each ransomed day to the full? What will you do with your Savior today?
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
Story taken from: “The Raft: The Courageous Struggle of Three Naval Airmen Against the Sea” by Robert Trumbull
Click here to see pictures from the National Naval Aviation Museum