Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thin Ice by John

Thin ice

Jack and Henry went ice fishing. The weather was not too cold, and they expected to have a great time. Henry noticed the ice looked too thin, but Jack was sure it was plenty thick. He pointed to a spot where he knew the water was deep and the fishing would be good.

His friend hesitated. "I think that ice is too thin."

"No it's not! It's fine! You're just being too cautious, Henry!" He frowned at his friend.

Henry frowned back at him, "I just don't believe in taking unnecessary chances, and I don't want you to either."

Jack shook his head in disbelief, "Well, you can sit up there on the bank if you want to, but I know the fish go deep when it's cold like this, and I'm going out there and catch some just like I always do!"

"Please, don't, Jack. You know that water is over your head, and it's cold! If it breaks I may not be able to help you! You could drown!"

"I don't need your help! That ice is plenty thick. It's never let me down before, and it won't now!"

Jack strode out on the ice with his metal cleats leaving little punctures to mark his passing. Henry shaking his head sat down on a log and began to fumble through his pack. A loud cracking sound in the ice caused his head to jerk up in alarm. "Jack! Look out! I heard the ice crack!"

Jack stopped in his tracks. The cracking sound ceased. He waved back, smiled and yelled, "False alarm!" He moved forward again. The first step brought another cracking sound, and as Henry watched, Jack suddenly plunged into ice water. He threw out his arms. He was in to his shoulders, but his arms on the ice stopped him from submerging.

Henry was on his feet. "Be still, Jack! Hold on! Stop!" Jack was struggling to get out! "You'll just make the hole bigger!" Witch the shock of the numbing cold, all Jack could think was to get out. As he shoved his bulk up, a big slab of ice snapped off. It tipped up, and Jack floundered about trying to stay on top of the water. The slab feel back, and the far edge disappeared under the surface. It slid partly back under the cap ice. Jack managed to work his way to the solid edge. He couldn't pull himself out, and he was thinking more clearly, so he stopped trying. Henry was his only hope, and he could see him doing anything that would help. He was not going to admit it, but he thought he was a goner for sure.

Henry was out of the ice now, with a coil of rope in his hand. It already had a "monkey's fist" knot in the end to add throwing weight.

"Jack! I'm going to throw this rope to you! You've got to tie it around your waist! Tight!" Jack's face was distorted by the cold, but his head tipped in a nod. Henry threw the rope as he had been taught in the Navy. The coils spiraled out and passed over Jack's head. It lightly settled on his shoulder. Jack grabbed it and wound it around his waist the best he could. His hands were already losing their grip. He knew he wouldn't be able to do anything very long. The cold was unbearable!

As soon as the rope was secure, Henry backed up until he stretched the rope tight. Keeping it taut, he moved back across the big log he sat a few seconds before. He flopped down in the snow on his back. "Jack! Get ready! I'm going to pull you up as far as I can, but you've got to help!" He began to pull while bracing himself against the log.

Jack struggled against the ice feeling the rope strain his body. He managed to kick a little, and inched his body up. The ice groaned, and he thought it would break again, but he had to keep working. The pressure on the rope increased, and he was dragged up on to solid ice. He started to try to get his feet under him and heard Henry yell, "Don't try to stand up! Roll! Roll! Roll toward me! He did, and after he made probably twenty feet, Henry yelled, "Take it easy, Jack! Try to get up on your hands and knees. That spreads your weight out, and you can move a little faster. Don't trust the ice! It may break again if you try to stand! Crawl!"

Another twenty feet, and his mind as numb as it was with the cold told him he was in shallow water, so he staggered to his feet. For a moment, the world seemed to wobble about. Things slowly became clear, and he walked unsteadily, but very carefully to the shore. With Henry's help, he shucked off the rope on the way to the pickup. Henry helped him in, ran to the other side, jumped in and started the engine. He turned the heater up as high as it would go while he watched Jack shake.

"The engine's still hot, Jack. I think you'll be okay now. How do you feel?"

"I've never been so cold in my entire life!" He struggled with his wet mittens. He grunted with every movement as he stripped off his boots. It was slow work.

"You got feeling in you hands and toes?"

"Yep, but they sure hurt! Wow! That heat is great" He was hunched in the seat now. "I'm sure messing up your truck, Henry, sorry!" He looked as apologetic as he sounded.

"Oh, that's okay. It may have ice in the floor mats until the weather warms, but that's all right."

Satisfied, Henry went back down to retrieve his rope and tackle. Jack's rod was still way out on the ice. Maybe we can fish it out next Summer, he though. He returned to the truck as quickly as he could and drove to town. Jack was pretty warm by the time they pulled into a McDonald's. He had stopped shaking, but the wet clothes were bothering him. Henry ordered two large, black coffees. Jack smiled as Henry handed him one. "This isn't exactly the way I planned for this trip to end, Henry."

"Yeh. Me neither."

"I planned to brag about how many fish I caught while ribbing you about being too scared to go out on the ice." His eyebrows raised as he looked directly at Henry. "What will you brag about?"

He smiled. "Well, I'm not planning to brag about pulling you out of the water, if that's what's worrying you."

"Hmm... That's good to know... I feel pretty stupid right now... I think that would make me feel a lot worse."

"We are friends, right?"


"Bragging about that would not be friendly, would it?"


"Well, if I was going to brag, I'd brag about the Lord because I almost didn't put that rope in my pack before I left the house. In fact, even after I did, I almost took it back out. Something told me it was better to prepared than sorry. I think maybe the Lord was looking after you."

"I'm sure glad you had it. Maybe I ought to listen to you more...Like when you talk about Jesus."

Henry turned to look at him sharply. He had witnessed to Jack since they were kids, but Jack always turned a deaf ear. Was he joking? One look, and he knew he wasn't. "Jack, nothing would please me more than to know you would go to heaven when you die! I thought you wouldn't make to heaven if I didn't get you out of that water!"

Jack's eyes dropped to the floor, "Henry, I didn't think about that at all until I sat here in the truck watching you go back down to get that rope. All I could think of was, Henry brought that rope for me! Don't give up on me now. I'm ready to listen."

NOTE: Sometimes people have to really face death before they are ready to turn to God, but it is just as wonderful when it happens. Jesus prayed in John 17 for those who would believe beause of the words spoken by His apostles. Are you one of those? --John. PS. If you need help let me know.


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