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If Only I Had…

Living with prosperity takes great discipline.  After so many years of having an abundance of everything, many Americans think that it is our right to have all of that available.  Anyone that has ever traveled to a Third World country to see the poverty, disease, and “lack” of everything, realizes quickly that we are not all enjoying the same good things in life.

Even with all that we possess and all that we can purchase, we are still a people that are highly stressed, dealing with depression, and living on “meds” to do day-to-day tasks.  Millions live life taking drugs to sleep—drugs to stay alert—and drugs to function.  Others need a stiff drink of alcohol or eat mindlessly to cope with anxieties. 

We have access to “more” of anything and everything than any people ever in history.  Yet even though we live in a “land of plenty”, so many people have been so wounded by some event or sorrow in life that the possibilities of a “new day” are not motivating.  Rather, in those cases, the belief is that tomorrow will be worse than today.  Imagine…. living surrounded by everything a person could want or need, but still thirsting for something (actually, in many situations, it is someone named Jesus) that they don’t have.

In 1996, a young marine corporal named Joey Mora was standing on a platform of an aircraft carrier patrolling the Iranian Sea.   Incredibly, he fell overboard.  His absence was not known for 36 hours.   A search and rescue mission began but was given up after another 24 hours.   No one could survive in the sea without even a life jacket after 60 hours. His parents were notified that he was “missing and presumed dead.”

The rest of the story is one of those “truth is stranger than fiction” events.  Script writers would pass it up as “not believable.”  Four Pakistani fishermen found Joey Mora about 72 hours after he had fallen from the aircraft carrier. He was treading water in his sleep, clinging to a makeshift flotation device made from his trousers — a skill learned in most military survival training.  He was delirious when they pulled him into their fishing boat.  His tongue was dry and cracked and his throat parched.

Just about two years later, as he spoke with Stone Philips of NBC Dateline, he recounted an unbelievable story of will to live and survival.  Who would not give up?  He said it was God who kept him struggling to survive.  His discovery by the fishermen makes searching for a needle in a haystack a piece of cake.  The most excruciating thing of all?  Joey said that the one thought that took over his body and pounded in his brain was “Water!”  [NBC Dateline: Nov. 1998]

Isaiah 58:11And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.