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A Very Real Dream - I Nearly Drowned
By Anton Rautenbach
Some time ago, I had a dream. It was during a storm at sea that I found myself in the water battling huge waves trying desperately to keep my head above water. The skies were only lit by occasional lightning flashes, and then the sound of thunder drowned my frantic screams for help. The terrifying thought of dying was all that kept me afloat.
Suddenly, a strong hand took hold of my arm; and I became aware that I was being lifted onto the deck of a boat. Catching my breath, I rubbed the salt from my burning eyes. My first impression was one of safety, although the storm was still raging around the boat. I found my feet - I stood up holding on to the railing on deck.
A voice called out my name - and I recognized Jesus. My first reaction was to display my gratitude, but my words and gestures seemed inadequate to give full meaning to the act that saved my life; and the presence of Jesus being so real. Not knowing what to do next, I looked for a safe place to sit and wait until the storm was over.
In the distance, I could hear other voices crying out for help. I shuddered to think that I was so close to death; and realized how fortunate I was to have been saved, and to be in the presence of Jesus himself.
Then in a loud voice, Jesus called out to me, "get up and pull those who are still in the water on board!"
A cold chill gripped my heart, and in a cowardly voice, I tried to explain my weakness, "but Lord, I cannot do it - I'm scared I'll fall back into the water!"
"I'll hold onto your one arm while you lean over the side, and pull those in the water onto the deck," Jesus assured me.
And sure enough, one but one I pulled all those whose cries I heard out of the stormy water to safety.
Until today, I almost forgot about this dream, which filled me with such enthusiasm at the time. I wanted to volunteer my "vision" in our local church, but it never seemed to be the right moment.
For many years, I wrestled with the question,
"once you are saved - what then?"
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