Are You In Danger

When I was 12, my violin teacher, Mr. Spencer, and I went fishing on the banks of the Rock River near Moline, Illinois. North of the river a large lake is connected by a swamp that is wider and deeper than many rivers I’ve seen.
 
 
We drove to a farm house on the north side of the lake to borrow a boat. Mr. Spencer then drove to where the swamp emptied into the Rock River while I rowed the boat across the lake to our fishing spot.
 
We planned to fish all night, and it was already dark when we put our fishing lines into the water. Then we ate and waited for the fish to bite. A little after midnight we heard a huge clap of thunder and saw streaks of lightning split the sky.
 
Mr. Spencer said, “If we don’t get out of here before the downpour, I’ll never be able to drive the car back across the field to the farm house. If we don’t leave right away, the car will be mired in mud. Can you row the boat back to its owners?”
 
“Yes,” I replied.
 
Saying, “I’ll meet you at the farm house,” he drove away and left me with the little rowboat.
It was pitch dark. I began rowing toward the lake, but I couldn’t see the curves and bends in the swamp. I had no flashlight, no light of any kind. How was I to see where to row? Lightning was the answer.
 
 
I’d row a little and then wait for lightning to light up the surroundings. Due to the rowing and waiting, I didn’t make very good time. By the time I reached the lake, the rain was falling. Now I had to wait for lightning to show me the house across the lake. I waited several times while crossing the choppy waters.
 
 
Oh, yes—the boat leaked! But I had found a tin can and, as I waited for lightning, I bailed water.
 
Wait—bail—row!—and pray!
 
A lake that size can kick up some hefty waves, but at the time I never thought much about it.
The good Lord protected this boy, in a little leaky boat, on an angry lake, amid lightning, thunder and rain.
 
Was I in danger? You said it! I could have been hit by lightning, the boat could have sunk or capsized, or I could have become lost crossing the lake.
 
Was I frightened? No, honestly, I wasn’t. Why not? Not because I was brave, but because I didn’t realize the real danger I was in. My friend, are you like other people who have said, “I’m not afraid of a coming judgment. I don’t fear God. I’m not afraid to die?” Then you do not realize the fearful danger you are in.

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