Pausing frequently to look for the boat so we could wave as the children whizzed by us on their tubes, we could not locate the boat. Surely, they were out in the center of the lake and we would see them soon. We tried to resume beach-relaxation mode, but my friend and I were quietly concerned after a chunk of time had gone by without spotting the boat.
After a time of a quiet waiting-and-scanning vigil, I turned to my friend and said, “Do you think this is too long of a time for them to be out on the lake in the boat without us seeing them?” Her quick reply signaled the concern we had both quietly been feeling, “Yes!” We began a calm but intense visual search of the waters for the boat. Hearts racing, silent prayers were being lifted to the Lord for safety.
Finally, we saw the boat and our loved ones being pulled in by a would-be rescue boat. Counting heads, we knew everyone was accounted for. Thank you, Lord!
As they got closer to shore, however, I could see the deeply-troubled countenance of my husband’s face. My heart sank. Something obviously had gone wrong. I felt the Lord impress on my heart immediately, “Just be quiet and pray.”
After everyone disembarked from the disabled boat, my husband walked slowly to the edge of the lake up onto the beach where I was waiting. Making his way to our cabin just a few steps up from the beach, he said to me in a hushed voice, “I could use as much grace as you can possibly give me right now.”
Quietness. Prayer. Grace. And more grace. That’s what Jim needed from me at that moment.
Emerging from the cabin a few minutes later, Jim briefly told me that, while a few of the kids were getting in the water tubes, the ski ropes had gotten pulled into the engine of the boat and tangled so severely that the engine seized, rendering the boat lifeless. My heart broke for him. An afternoon of fun turned into an afternoon of a seemingly damaged boat that belonged to a friend of a friend. Jim felt terrible.
He made his way back into the shallow water near the lake’s edge to the debilitated boat to try to carefully get the ropes out of the engine. Jim was by himself as the other dads were still off-site. Jim worked and worked underwater, coming up frequently for breaths of air. Cutting, pulling, cutting, pulling. He struggled for what seemed like an eternity, while I kept a quiet, prayerful vigil nearby.
Quietness. Prayer. Grace. More grace.
Seeing my husband wrestle to fix this situation, my heart cried out to the Lord in prayer. “Lord, Jim can’t stay under water for long enough periods of time to persist and get the ropes out of the engine. He needs help. Lord, would you please send an angel to help Jim? He needs an angel, Lord.”
I lifted my head, opened my eyes and turned toward the direction of the boat. Immediately, God had sent an angel. It was as if heaven had opened up and I could hear a choir of angels singing! Out from the beach on the lake walked AN ANGEL DRESSED IN SCUBA-DIVING GEAR!!! Scuba-diving gear!!! Oxygen tank, mask, the whole nine yards! God had sent an angel! An angel sporting the appropriate wardrobe!!
My jaw dropped as I watched God’s answer to prayer walk steadily out to my husband and the boat. A scuba diver??? We were on a LAKE!!!! We were not at the ocean! There were no pretty fish or coral reeves to see in this lake. In fact, the water was clouded, gray and peppered with debris. Campers who have been going to COTW for decades said they have never seen a scuba diver at camp! What is a scuba diver doing at Camp of The Woods on Lake Pleasant in the Adirondack Mountains of New York??? He was sent by God to help my husband.
Rejoicing, I shouted in my heart, “Lord, you are amazing!! Thank you for helping Jim and for sending an angel…a scuba-diving angel…to help him in his time of trouble!”
Jim was also in awe of God’s goodness. He touched the scuba diver and said, “Are you for real? You’re an angel, aren’t you?”
Only God. Only God could send an angel in scuba diving gear to a lake that had never seen a scuba diver! And, of course, the scuba-diving angel was successful! He was able to stay under water for over 45 minutes until all of the rope was cut out safely from the boat’s engine.
Beach-side cheers burst from we moms and kids when the final ropes were pulled from the engine and we heard it running again!!! Woo Hoo! The boat was fixed and would be returned to its owner in good condition! Jim and all of the kids were safe. My husband was relieved and grateful. Our hearts were wowed by God’s amazing faithfulness.
We have seen His glory. Grace. And more grace.
more about our scuba-diving angel in an upcoming post….