Recently, I came across a touching story that I want to share:
Many years ago, a sailing ship was driven onto the rocky coast of Scotland in a tremendous hurricane. The wind and waves were rapidly beating the vessel to pieces. The life-saving crew on shore, at great peril to themselves, attempted to rescue the ship's crew.
With heroic effort, they had succeeded in getting them all into the lifeboat. As they were drawing away from the stricken ship, however, they noticed one poor man who had been overlooked and was clinging to what was left of the rigging.
The rescue team said, "If we attempt to go back to get him, our boat will be dashed to pieces, and we will all be lost." Reluctantly, they left the man and continued toward shore.
When they landed, one strong young man said, "If someone will go with me, I will go back and get that man off the wreck."
His mother, who was standing by his side, put her arms around him and begged, "My boy, you must not go. Your father was a sailor and was lost at sea in a storm like this. Eight years later, your brother, William, went to sea, and we have not heard from him since. No doubt he too has found a watery grave. What am I to do if you go and are drowned? I am old, and you are my only support. You are the only one left. I beg you not to go."
Gently, he removed her arm from around his neck. "Mother, out there is a man in peril. I believe it is my duty to rescue him. If I am lost while doing my duty, God will take care of you." He kissed her. Then he and his companion stepped into the boat and rowed away into the teeth of the storm.
Those on shore waited a long time. Anxiously, they strained to see through the raging storm, hoping and praying for the lifeboat's safe return. By and by, they saw it struggling through the wind and darkness toward the shore.
Finally, weary and worn out, the two brave men applied all their remaining strength to reach land. When they were near enough to be heard, those on shore shouted, "Did you save the other man?"
Lifting his hands to his mouth to trumpet the good news, the young man called back, "Yes! Tell my mother I've got my brother, William!"
The lone man he had rescued from the rigging was his long lost brother!
This story reminds me of a song my uncle used to play from his gospel mission boat as he approached a tiny village or cannery in Southeast Alaska, "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning." One line reads, "Some poor fainting, struggling seaman you may rescue, you may save."
The Lord wants each of us to reflect His light into the storms of life that would destroy our brothers and sisters and rescue the perishing from the destruction of sin. What are we doing to accomplish this task?