|(Maumee Bay State Park)
(My friend Mike Ansel wrote this, and gave permission to post it here.)
Many times true strength comes through attrition. Sometimes you have to lose something in order to save yourself and others.
Several years ago I was on a caribou hunt in Northern Quebec. We had a 19 year old Canadian camp helper. One day someone forgot to tie the boat up upon returning from the hunt. The boat was drifting out into the middle of the lake.
The float plane was not due back for 5 days and the boat was our only means of transportation. Andy gingerly entered the frigid waters and started swimming toward the drifting boat.
About half way there he turned and looked toward shore as if to say good by fellas I cant make it! My pastor friend (Bob Baltrip)and I started praying out loud for the Lord to save this young man. As we prayed he turned and resumed swimming toward the boat, but a sudden burst of wind came up and made the boat drift faster out of reach. It looked bleak, but a miracle took place, as God answered our prayers.
A long rope that was attached to the bow of the boat suddenly came floating to the surface of the lake within reach of Andy. He grabbed on to it and proceeded to pull himself toward the boat. Because he was exhausted and his strength was zapped by the near freezing water, Andy had a hard time pulling himself into the boat. (More prayers!)
We then saw that Andy was naked! When he had turned toward shore and we feared for his life he was discarding his socks, pants, and underwear that were saturated with water and holding him back.
We had a rip roaring fire and warm blankets waiting for him when he finally got back to shore. We massaged his arms and legs and told him about the love of Christ and how God had heard our prayers and saved him physically. And then Andy stepped into the waters of rebirth and allowed Jesus to also save his soul.
I believe this was all God ordained. Andy had to lose something in order to move forward and eventually save his life and soul!
- Michael Wade Ansel