What is a swimmer’s worst nightmare? Drowning?
Hunting for the Good Stuff
Probably so. But when it comes to swimming in the ocean, a swimmer’s greatest fear probably shifts from drowning to shark attacks. Perhaps it’s a primeval fear of being eaten by an unthinking beast, but shark attacks can be terrorizing to the max.
That’s why it surprised so many people when they read about a swimmer who is thankful for the shark attack he experienced. The swimmer is Eugene Finney of Massachusetts.
Earlier this year Eugene had been swimming off Huntington Beach, California when something slammed into him from behind, leaving bite marks and blood over his back. He was treated at a local hospital and released that same day. Yet, after he returned to his home in Massachusetts the back pain continued. A second trip to a hospital, which included a CAT scan, revealed a stage 1 cancerous growth on one of his kidneys. Surgeons removed the tumor and have since declared Eugene cancer-free.
Eugene credits the shark attack (later determined to have been from a Great White Shark) with saving his life. He’s convinced it was providential in drawing attention to his deadly cancer. “If they hadn’t made that incidental find, I wouldn’t have known until it was too late,” Finney explained to reporters.[i]
God’s Providential Protection
Every one of us has our share of fears. And if one of those fears pursues us and is about to overtake us, we conclude all hope is gone. But for those who place their lives in the Lord’s hands, even the things we fear will become a blessing to us. “God works all things together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
One of England’s finest poets expressed it in these words.
God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs and works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; the clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.
Dear Father in heaven, help me to face this week’s challenges with faith in Your almighty power, wisdom, and love. By them, O God, turn all my curses into blessings, all my hurts into halos, and all my scars into stars. Amen.
[i] (Information from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/eugene-finney-shark-cancer-tumor_5616a96ae4b0e66ad4c6d9cb?utm_hp_ref=weird-news&ir=Weird%2BNews§ion=weird-news)