August 11, 2018
My whole body jerked as I entered the incredibly deep expanse of water and was plunged down into the terrifying depths.
Horrifyingly, the water went on for what seemed like forever in every direction; except up, but even up seemed so far.
The incredible expanse of the sea was terrifying. My first and only thought screaming through every fiber of my being, was, MY GOD! I don’t know if I will have time to reach the top of the water!!!
“Oh, my God!!” I thought, as my eyes snapped open, still fully aware of my heart pounding with fear in my chest.
Instantly, I was wide awake but still feeling the lingering terror from my brief experience beneath the sea. “Oh, God, help them, please!” I prayed earnestly and fervently, the feeling of abject terror still very fresh in my mind.
Knowing there was no way to go back to sleep, I rose to make a pot of coffee. As I prepared the morning brew, my thoughts kept traveling back to the sea. As always happens after I have one of these experiences, I couldn’t shake the memory, so I logged into my prayer group to post a message:
I told the group that the only thing that I was certain of, is the expanse of water was enormous, like the ocean, and the person was way down deep all alone, all of a sudden, like a long fall from a cruise ship, so I am pretty certain that it is a cruise ship.
Several of the group’s members assured me that they were praying with me.
A new member, Kaitlyn, asked, ‘How do you know that it’s a dream about someone else?”
“I’ve been dreaming like this for decades. Sometimes I have dreams about myself, which are like normal dreams. Other times, when I’m dreaming of someone else’s life, it’s like I’m there, and it’s crystal clear, even clearer than real life, so it makes it easy for me to tell the difference. I’m certain that we will hear about this exact situation in the news very soon.”
My heart went out to whoever would soon find themselves fighting for their lives in the depths of the ocean. Having lived a brief moment of their life, I was keenly aware of the terror that they would soon experience, so for days afterward, whenever the dream returned to my thoughts, I earnestly prayed that God would save them.
Nine Days Later
Lori was one of the people praying for this person. She knew that we were expecting to hear of a person that fell off of a cruise ship, so she sent me a message that said:
Mia, look at this: a woman survives for 10 hours in the water after falling off a cruise ship!!
My jaw dropped open as I read the words and realized that the miracle rescue we had been praying for had happened. Once I snapped back to reality, I screamed for joy and burst into tears of relief.
Even my father, who maybe be the world’s biggest skeptic, acknowledged that her survival was remarkable. With a somber tone, he said, “Most the time, these stories do not end like this; people do not normally get found like that.”
I wanted to shout, ‘But God!’
It was a prophesied, bonafide, miracle!!
Kay’s miracle was not a random accident. God saved Kay Longstaff because the world needs to know that His Grace is Still Amazing.
According to ‘DailyMail.com, investigators in Croatia and Italy both stated that Kay Longstaff did in fact jump ‘voluntarily’ in a ‘determined’ fashion from the seventh floor of the ship, falling 75 feet into the water and injuring her cheek from the force when she hit. The cruise boss’s mother was reported to have called her a “stupid woman”.
They reported that Kay’s actions resulted in costs of hundreds of thousands of pounds for her rescue as the cruise ship went into search and rescue mode to find her, with witnesses stating it was a miracle she was found. (It was.)
Shortly after, reading Kay Longstaff’s miracle rescue story, my joy turned to sadness as I read the comments of all the people judging her for her actions. There were thousands upon thousands of people commenting online in absolute indignation and outrage, calling for her to pay for her very costly mistake. I’m sure, to Kay, it felt as if the whole world were a village gathered together outside her cottage with torches and pitchforks.
The horror that Kay experienced in the ocean is something that most of us can’t begin to understand. By the time that she was pulled out of the sea, she had already suffered quite enough, and had clearly paid for whatever mistake she made while out there on the brink of death for hours.
I thought of the ‘story ‘of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. The price for adultery was stoning. Since she was caught red-handed, she was dragged to where Jesus was standing to be stoned. The story portrayed Jesus intervening and saving the guilty woman by saying, ‘Whoever of you that is without sin cast the first stone.’
One by one, every man dropped their stone.
Similarly, Kay made a terrible mistake and, without God’s intervention, the cost of that mistake would have been her life.
Kay’s story is a true example of God’s amazing grace. Kay’s story illustrates that God is still the same compassionate God who rescues people from paying for their mistakes.
When we make mistakes and suffer the consequences of those mistakes, we might think that God is punishing us. Or maybe we believe that we did the crime, now we have to do the time.
But God has a long history of saving people from their mistakes (and from those who want to stone us).
God doesn’t let the wolf devour us because we went off the path. We’re sheep. Sheep wander. Have you ever seen a shepherd beating their sheep or making them pay for wandering?
A good shepherd takes care of the sheep and doesn’t blame them for being sheep. When God brings us back to the fold, he doesn’t “make us pay” by secluding us in a barren section of the field where there’s hardly a puff of grass to munch to “teach us a lesson.” Having sickly sheep does not benefit the shepherd nor the future of the sheep. Instead, when God gets us back into the fold, He puts us back into the most nourishing situation that he can find, one that is full of fresh grass, sunshine, and freshwater, because He truly cares about the welfare of His sheep.
When we mess up as Eve did, when we follow the devil to our detriment, God devises a plan to bail us out. The Bible reveals time and time again that God is not a God who waits eagerly to give us what we deserve. A perfect example is the first example. As soon as Adam and Eve were evicted from the garden, God began a plan to restore humanity.
The wages of sin is death, but instead of making us pay, God sent Jesus to die so that we don’t have to.
God, and His grace, is so amazing that even when we make destructive choices and find ourselves suffering the consequences, He comes to our rescue. He leaves the ninety-nine sheep for the one wandering black sheep, and His enormous love comes to save us from ourselves.
When it looks bad, and you know it’s your fault, God wants you to know that He is still your deliverer. Kay’s story is proof of that. Even though her actions brought her to the very literal brink of death, Amazing Grace walked in and carried her out.
Don’t think because you’ve made a mess that God is sick of you and has finally had enough. Don’t believe that He has decided to leave you in the big mess that you’ve made for you to sort it out yourself. Instead, believe that, like Kay, when we find ourselves in a mess of our own making, it is not too late for God to save us from our troubles. Before Kay stepped foot on that ship, God set in motion a plan to pull her out. Her rescue was not a happy accident, God had a plan to turn Kay’s mess into a miracle in the making.
And he’s ready to do the same for you.
Are you saved? Jesus died to save you. Did you spend too much and overdraft your account? He’s willing to restore. Did you call in sick but shouldn’t have and lost your job? He knows where you can find another. Did you get drunk and jump off a cruise ship? He is already answering prayers to save you before you even ask. He is that good, His love is that big, and His grace is that amazing.
After all the hullabaloo about how Kay found herself in the ocean died down, I wondered why God had not shown me the rest of the story. I asked why didn’t He show me what led up to her fall or jump since it seemed to be rather significant to the whole story.
As I wondered this, suddenly, I felt in my heart so clearly:
“Because it didn’t matter….The only thing that mattered was that there was a scared, helpless person who needed a savior.”
And One showed up.
That, my friends, is Amazing Grace.