Once Dead but Now Alive

People already gave up on them. They even held a memorial service for them. Samuel Pelesa, 15, Filo Filo, 15, and Edward Nasau, 14, “disappeared while attempting to row between two islands in the New Zealand territory of Tokelau in early October and were given up for dead after an extensive search involving New Zealand’s air force. Their craft had drifted 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) to a desolate part of the Pacific northeast of Fiji”. (Source: Associated Press) They survived the ordeal by catching and eating raw fish and drinking rain water that they collected whenever it would drizzle during the night. Later on, since it did not rain for a few days, they started drinking sea water. One time they even ate a seagull that landed on their small aluminum boat.

They must have thought it was just a mirage or a mere delusion brought about by extreme hunger and thirst when they saw a tuna boat in the horizon. Though very weak, mustering all the remaining strength they could muster, they frantically waved. Though hoarse due to their parched throats, they shouted at the top of their feeble voice. Help finally came after 50 long days! The fishing boat “didn’t normally travel through that part of the region, but [at time] was using the isolated sea route to shorten its return to New Zealand.” (Ibid) In an interview, Tanu Filo, the father of one of the survivors, told Radio New Zealand International, “It’s a miracle, it’s a miracle. The whole village, the whole village, there were so excited and cried and they sang songs and hugging each other, yeah, on the road. Everybody was yelling and shouting the good news.” (Ibid)

Every person who puts his faith on the Lord Jesus alone as His Savior experienced an even greater miracle. “But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God’s wonderful kindness is what saves you.” (Ephesians 2:4, CEV) Second Corinthians 5:17 declares, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV) While reading the online news, this portion of the “Amazing Grace” hymn came to my mind: “I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now, I see.” We could also declare, “I once was dead but now I’m alive.” Like the villagers, we should get so excited about the Good News that we would do everything to share it with everyone.

Brethren, in Christ, once we were dead but now we’re alive!


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