In the countryside, rivers flow swiftly in the rolling hills and dales of Great Britain. I have an English friend whose small child was playing on the bank of one of these rivers while the family was on a picnic. The grandfather realized the boy was gone and ran down to the riverbank. He saw the child face up under the water. He jumped in to waist deep water and saved his grandson’s life.
Many children have been swept away and drowned in this fashion. On one trip to England, as we were traveling on one of the motor ways on our way to Sheffield, my driver pointed out a place where some British soldiers had recently lost their lives in a military training session while attempting a river crossing. There was no one in their company who realized they were in danger of drowning, and no one was there to rescue or redeem them.
I love great stories of redemption. In the last century, a gathering of friends at an English estate nearly turned to tragedy when one of the children strayed into deep water. The gardener heard the cries for help, plunged in, and rescued the drowning child. That youngster's name was Winston Churchill. His grateful parents asked the gardener what they could do to reward him. He hesitated, then said, "I wish my son could go to college someday and become a doctor." "We'll see to it," Churchill's parents promised.
Years later, while Sir Winston was Prime Minister of England, he was stricken with pneumonia. The country's best physician was summoned. His name was Dr. Alexander Fleming, the man who discovered and developed penicillin. He was also the son of that gardener who had saved young Winston from drowning. Later Churchill remarked, "Rarely has one man owed his life twice to the same person."
How many will read this story and thank God for everyone who has ever taken a penicillin shot. Just as the gardener saved young Churchill’s life, Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost.
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We Believe In You,
Cleddie and GayNell Keith