Friday, May 1, 2020

Save Me!

By David A. Sargent

Harrison Odjegba Okene of Nigeria was working as a cook on the Tugboat Jascon when a heavy swell caused the vessel to capsize and his boat sank to the sea bed 100 feet below in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Okene's ordeal began around 4:30 a.m. on May 26. He was in the bathroom when the tug, one of three towing an oil tanker off the coast of Nigeria, gave a sudden lurch and then keeled over.
"I was dazed and everywhere was dark as I was thrown from one end of the small cubicle to another," Okene told Nigeria's Nation newspaper. He groped his way out of the bathroom and eventually entered a cabin of the sunken vessel that felt safe. Then he began to wait and he prayed to be rescued.
He had no idea about the well-being of his fellow crew members – 10 Nigerians and the Ukrainian captain. Sadly, these all died in the ordeal. As Okene waited and the cold waters began to rise in the cabin, he thought about his wife, his extended family, and his friends. He also recited the last psalm his wife had sent by text message, sometimes called the Prayer for Deliverance, which begins with the plea: " Save me, O God, by your name” (Psalm 54).

“Surely God is my help;
The Lord is the one who sustains me.”
– Psalm 54:4
    Divers were called to the scene. By the time they arrived and divers navigated down to the ship, their purpose was only to look for bodies, according to Tony Walker, project manager for the Dutch company DCN Diving.
So when a hand appeared on the TV screen Walker was monitoring in the rescue boat, showing what the diver in the Jascon saw, everybody assumed it was another corpse. But when the diver “went to grab the hand, the hand grabbed him!" Walker said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
After 60 hours of being trapped in a capsized tugboat, breathing the ever-dwindling oxygen left in an air pocket, clinging to thoughts of his loved ones, the words of a beloved psalm, and the prayerful hope of rescue, Okene was found and brought to safety. *

“I will praise your name, O LORD, for it is good.
For He has delivered me from all my troubles.”
– Psalm 54:6-7
    Okene’s desperate circumstances resemble our OWN condition in sin...

When we were drowning in sin, God sent His Son Jesus to our rescue.  Jesus gave His life for us, so that we might be saved and receive the gift of eternal life (John 3:16; Romans 6:23).
God will save those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  God will continue to “sustain” those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
The Lord has promised salvation and eternal life to those who will “cry out” to Him through their trusting obedience.
Won't YOU?

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled "Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website:

* Information gleaned from

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