[Our editorial this month is written by Barbara Sabin]
Do you ever give thanks for the kindness of God? You can read in the Old Testament ‘God chose you not because you were big and important, the fact is there was almost nothing to you, He did it out of sheer love….’
Have you heard of Eddie Rickenbacker?
"Thousands of Americans laid aside their newspapers on Oct. 22, 1942, and abandoned hope for Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker and his seven companions after reading the last message, radioed from their Flying Fortress...."
They were eight men adrift in the Pacific with four oranges, no water, one working watch, life jackets, a Bible, and a few flares. Could they survive the weeks between disaster and rescue? Seven did. This is their story reconstructed from the salt-encrusted diary of Lieutenant James Whittaker. It is a tale of courage and inspiration that has seen twenty-five printings, sold over a hundred thousand copies and been translated into German, French, Norwegian, and Swedish.
‘THROUGHOUT the late watches of the chilling night I sat sleeplessly thinking over our condition and the state of my own soul. It was not a pleasant line of thought. I had been an agnostic; an atheist, if you will. I am not sure I am using either term correctly. I imagined that I doubted the existence of such a being as God. I reasoned further, when religion was mentioned, that God never had done much for me in my life, so why should I go through the motions of worshipping Him? The most I could salvage for myself from these gloomy thoughts was that I at least had never been a hypocrite. I pondered that night on an expression I had heard somewhere out in the Southwest Pacific: "There are no atheists in the foxholes of Guadalcanal." I can tell you now that there can be no atheists in rubber rafts amid whitecaps and sharks in the equatorial Pacific. I was finding my God in those watery wastes and we were meeting as strangers. I don't deny that there was still a reluctance, somewhere deep within me. After 40 years and more of indifference and selfishness, it would have been strange indeed if I hadn't felt something of the sort. We might have remained strangers, had it not been for Him. He soon was to send the two divine miracles that twice more were to save my life and change the way of it about as completely as a life can be changed.’ Remember, we were deadly serious, grotesque as this talk may sound now. We were growing weaker and all realized there would have to be food soon. Someone asked Rickenbacker's opinion. "Flesh would serve as bait if it should become necessary," he said, but would make no suggestion as to the form the butchery should take. Just when and whether we would have begun carving ourselves up for bait I don't know and never will. Because just then there came a startling interruption. A moment before, the air above us had been empty. Now there was a loud flapping wing. Without warning and as natural as anything, a sea swallow alighted on Rickenbacker's head. We held our breath. The bird, about half the size of a seagull, looked curiously at each of us in turn — as well it might. Rick's hand moved up slowly. He rubbed his chin. He caressed his nose. He smoothed an eyebrow. Then, with a swift snatch, he made the bird prisoner. Rick carved him up. I got a leg. And let me say here and now that I will have to be starving before I ever taste sea swallow again. Not only is the flesh rank, but the muscles are like iron wires. I will say, however, sea swallow plumbing makes excellent bait.
You can buy the book ‘We thought we heard the angels sing’ from Amazon it will cost you £84, it is also possible to download it and read online.
How far will God go to show us kindness, he points us to the love of Jesus in Jeremiah 31 verse 3 …Israel out looking for a place to rest met God looking for them. God told them ‘I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love and more love! And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again.’
We will probably never be crashed into the sea and live 23 days with only sea water and fish we can catch for God to show us kindness, we may live very simple lives, but each and every day we can see the kindness of God if we look for it, he wants us to know him, he doesn’t want us to be lost. Peter tells us He is giving us space and time to change.
‘What marvellous love the Father has extended to us? Just look at it- we are called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognise us or take us seriously because it has no idea who He is or what He is up to.’ 1 John 3 verse 1
Thank you Lord for finding me and saving me. Thank you Jesus for buying my freedom. Holy Spirit rule over my life .Amen