This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
Thirty-year-old Dan Suski is a business owner, and his sister, 39-year-old Kate Suski, is an architect.
Together they were doing well enough to take a vacation to Puerto Rico. There they chartered a ship to take them out for an all-day fishing trip. Now some might go fishing for a week and not get a nibble, but Dan and Kate were only a few hours on the water before a 200-pound marlin hit Dan's line.
That was when things "began to go south."
While Dan was still fighting his fish, the electrical system on the boat crackled and sparked. Water flooded the engine room and cabin. In a few minutes the captain told them to get into their life-jackets and abandon ship. They did as instructed and were soon joined by the captain and his mate. Dan and Kate waited for rescue to arrive. They waited for over an hour before they began the eight-mile swim to shore.
With their minds and hearts filled with imaginings of sharks and being swept further out to sea, they swam. They swam when a downpour made them lose sight of land. They swam until the sunset and then they swam some more. Eventually, around midnight they approached shore -- a shore with high cliffs, no beach, and surf that would have killed them, if they had tried to make landfall.
The pair kept swimming until they found a small bit of sand. There on a deserted beach, they came ashore and made their way inland. No help could be found, so they fell asleep covered with branches and boughs. The next day they walked three hours before they found someone who would call for help.
Now, my friends, you should know there is a reason why I have told you the story of Dan and Kate.
That reason is supplied by Kate. After her release from the hospital she said, "We are so grateful to be alive right now. ... Since this ordeal, I've been waking up at dawn every morning. I've never looked forward to the sunrise so much in my life."
I like that attitude.
Sadly, it often takes a tragedy or a near catastrophe before people begin to appreciate the day the Lord has made. Heart-attack victims, cancer survivors have often told me how much differently they see life. In other words, they value every 24 hours the Lord gives.
It's a good idea, you know. Not that we have to be afraid of dying. Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary's cross has made it so we don't have to fear leaving this world. Still, as long as we are here, we should give thanks for, and make use of, the time the Lord has bestowed. Like the man said, "This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may I truly give thanks for all Your blessings. Most of all I rejoice in my Savior whose life, death and resurrection has given me heaven. But let me also give thanks for this day. May I give thanks and use it. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
ERRATUM: My apologies to the people of West, Texas, who suffered the massive explosion. I knew who you were, but my fingers typed in "Waco" instead. Sorry.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries