It was summer vacation time. I was then 24 years old, and went with a group of people from Vienna (Austria), where I was working, on a bus-tour to Rimini Italy on the Adriatic Sea.
One day at about 2 PM I decided to go for a swim. It was hot and the sea was calm like a lake, not a ripple to be seen on the water. The wide sandy beach was almost deserted; it was the hottest time of the day. Only foolish people like us sun-hungry Foreigners would lie on the beach at that time.
The calm sea enticed me to go for a good swim out to the barrier of fastened buoys in the far distance.
The water was warm and I made good progress; it pushed me farther and farther out, and I wanted to reach the barrier.
Then I took a look back to the beach. It was quite far away so I thought I better turn back as this is too far. The buoys were still far in the distance. In the water one does not have an accurate judgment of the real distance.
So, I turned back. Then, swimming for a while, it seemed I did not move from the spot. The water was so calm and was not pushing me forward as it did on the way out. This is, of course, was also a delusion, but it seemed reality to me. Then I began to fear that I may not make it to the shore. I may not have that much energy left.
Suddenly, a terrible fright came over me. The terror of drowning caught me and I looked around. There was only me in the water.
This fearful thought robbed me all at once of my strength. I felt my limbs weaken, and at any moment I thought I would sink down into the deep to perish. I was sure I would not make it back to the shore. No one would even notice that I would drown out there. In my dreadful fear and horror of death, I once again turned my head, hoping there would be somehow some help.
Just then I saw a boat near by. How it got there was a mystery to me, because just a moment ago I did not see anything. I desperately waved and the boat rushed towards me.
It was a dark-green wooden craft with red edges. I can still see it clearly before me. It had a long front with two persons in the boat which looked very strange to me. They did not look like Italians. They were clothed in dark mantles with a hood over the face (I wondered about that because it was summer and very hot). I could only see the face of the first one at the front, with delicate features, a fine straight nose, deep, light colored eyes (I remember this because this person looked right at me), closed lips, and was like one who had worked a lot in the sun.
With new energy I jumped into the front of the boat, saying in Italian: “Stanco”, which means “tired.”
In a flash the two individuals turned around and with the strong push of the oars shot towards the beach.
We were there in seconds. Again, this was to me a mystery, for with any normal boat it would have taken some more time to get there. The boat stopped and I jumped off, gladly feeling the safe ground beneath me. I thanked them in Italian and went off. Was I ever relieved!!!
Then I looked back—but there was nothing—the sea from the far left to the far right was deserted like before when I went in. This was amazing!
I marveled about this, but at that time I had no clue that these had been angels. I did not believe in God, at that time and actually lived another ten years as a total unbeliever.
Many years afterwards when the Lord Jesus came into my life, and thinking about my past, I remembered this amazing incident. Then it dawned on me, that in His mercy and infinite love and grace, God sent two angels to rescue me from certain death, while a sinner and unbeliever. How much He must love me to save me then as a sinner. I can never forget this miracle. The Lord must have had His reasons to spare my life, and I am ever so grateful!
It will be forever a wonder to me, and can only say with the Psalmist “What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? And the son (daughter) of man, that Thou visitest him?” Psalm 8:4
May this testimony be an encouragement and hope for all who have family members, relatives, and friends, who have not yet found Jesus and who you are praying for—for their salvation.
There is no limit to what God can, and will, do. His hand is stretched out still; Jesus came to this earth to save sinners, whoever they are, wherever they may be. Amen.
Edda Tedford, Canada