WALKING ON WATER ••.•• WHO BELIEVES THAT???




As a child I was brought up by loving, caring parents that didn’t have a lot by the world’s standards. But they were.adamount about seeing that I went to Sunday School and church from a young age. At that time. largely to no avail. I was from the start rebellious, and hated authority. So much so that my Father took me into a prison at an early age to show me. where I was going to end up at tha rate I was going. Meanwhile the Bible stories continued from my Grandfather, Sunday school teachers, etc. However, I was more than a listener as I openly made fun of what they were saying ••••
Hitting a rock and water came out for the people. The virgin birth. The sea splitting and then swallowing up the Egyptians. God sending hi& only son to die for us and then going into heaven. etc. But the one thing I had the most trouble believing was walking on water by Jesus and a disciple. Now who in their right mind would believe that a real possibility? Not me.
By the time I reached the ripe old age of seventeen my mind was pretty well made up as to what I believed and it was certainly nothing that would get me into heaven. In fact a fortune teller told me I would die before the age of 21. So with graduation about to take place I convinced a large group of my friends to have a graduation party. We did and did not make it home for 3 days. When we did, I was physically sick from the weekend and j~st wanted to rest. My Father had other ideas. For some reason he felt it was time to start my working career. He gave me the choice--Army, Navy, or Air Force. This was while driving me to the recruiters. I chose the Army to become a paratrooper. By the time we got down there the only recruiter there was the Navy recuriter. Dad wasn’t to chosey which branch I went in and the offer of extra pay without jumping out of planes appealed to me. So Navy it was. I immediately went out and talked 6 friends into joining with me ••• we went to boot camp in San Diego, a couple other schools, and then submarine school in Groton, C~ In 1962 from Groton I went to Pearl Harbor to catch my first sub. When I got there the sub was already deployed to the Western Pacific, so I joined another sub that was going out on an emergency mission to the Western Pacific. We completed that deployment and when we got back I was transferred to another boat which was asking for volunteers. We went out again to the Western Pacific for about 7 months. This time it was during typhoon season. The weather was quite cold.
The sub I was.on was an WWII reconverted sub with 4 diesel engines. It was considered a diesel, fast attack. The length was about 306 1 width 26 1 • It had 9 compartments; 8 in a row composed the main body, and the conning tower sat over the control room; the lookouts were above the conning tower. On the bottom/sides of the sub there were tanks which are filled with air and some fuel,and some water, or a combination of these. Balf of the tanks are closed and half are free-flooding. Free-flooding means that they are open to the ocean; they have holes on the bottom like a collander; as long as the sub stays upright, the air cannot escape these holes, but if the sub were to roll, the air escapes and the sea rushes in and the law of gravity takes over and the sub would sink. Should that happen the hope would be that the sub would roll back upright (the bottom of the sub is heavier than the top) and then the tanks could be blown with high pressure air to expell the seawater and bring the sub back to the surface. Before this would be accomplished however, the sub would sink many hundreds of feet below the surface.
Anyway, we were in the northern western pacific during typhoon season and there was a storm coming in behind us. Now a lot·of people ask “Why don’t subs just dive down under during a storm where its nice and calm? The answer is, it’s not nice and calm down there any more than it is on the surface. We stay on top because if the sub rolls and goes under, there is a better chance of righting itself in time, before reaching crush depth than if it rolled while under the water.
Normally we would have turned 90% to the typhoons path to let it go past us. Unfortunately, land considerations prevented this, so we had to try and outrun it. Now a WWII diesel sub is just not fast enough to outrun a typhoon, and soon we were in the middle of it. At all times underway, one-third of the crew are on watch, and during this watch I was the port lookout, which meant I was on top of the submarine out in the storm. Within a few feet of me were the starboard lookout and the officer of the deck, and because of the weather we were chained in place to prevent us from being washed overboard. All hatches were dogged shut and our only communicatio.n was with .the. Chief of the Boat (COB) ( COW) ~il(, in the control room~lMC, ~MC or JA. The Chief of the Watch (COW) was responsible to man the airtanks and control the Christmas Tree--which is a board on the port side of the ship with red and green lights that indicate the tank doors being open to sea (red) or green shut.
The reason we had to be out there was to be the eyes of the ship, as radar and sonar were not useable in this type of situation. At this time waves were breaking 30-50• feet over my head. Have you ever seen The Perfect Storm? It was kind of like that, but darker. You could see the outline of the waves, sleeting rain, and white spray. And it was very, very cold.
The waves were huge and the bow was rising and dropping 40-60 feet as it crested the waves. A wave broke over us and then ~nother one came immediatsiy, and sent the sub into a roll to port that would have sent us plummeting into the depths. The thought crossed. my mind to undo the chains that held me to the boat so that I might live a little longer but then I thought no, my family should have a body to bury. I scrambled so that my fingers were in the decking where my feet were standing: moments pefore, as the ship continued to AT TI.Jfs1.JJ-l> I- .,,;2, To”/3Ct.; 11e,-r.e-$- ,.,_,,.,, J.y •v 7 ,,.,,u-..s ..,;P. 4 $”” r ,...,i..,t,””7 A,nJ ,A..._ Ld kave p.,: .. .v, roll.A In the dark, knowing I was about to die, I said Jesus please forgive me. And at that moment I realized that I was walking on water. I still remember the blue green color of the water as it was beneath mj feet, and the feeling of absolute peace. I had never felt~ffii that before. I don’t know how long the sub stayea in that position, but the next thing that happened is nothing short of a miracle. From this positipn. in which it was impossible for it to correct ,.,,-1(.,J s,;,1,.,,.- i ts el~, the sub rolled back over and righted itself. Afterwards I talked to the COB/COW. He said that his feet were on the Christmas tree and the overhead (ceiling). His belief was that everyone topside had been killed and he was trying to find reliefs. He could not understand how we had righted ourselves without going down at least a couple of hundred feet. No one from a,n educated, science approach could explain it--it was simply impossible for ~t to roll that much an.d correct its elf without going under. They di dn I t understand it~-to the point where they didn’t want to talk about it-- if people don’t understand something, they don’t like to talk about it. These people I talked to were highly trained, educated people who knew every part of the submarine inside and out, blindfolded.
From that point on I trusted God with my life, but it was not for some years later that while attending Triangle Baptist Church I heard a sermon that made a difference too. Brother Bob, who was filling in for the Pastor, was speaking about trusting and obeying, saying that trusting will get you by, but obeying will make you happy. This was the point at.which I actually commited my life to the Lord--up to this point I had been trusting but not obeying.
Clearly God has a sense of humor. He not only had me walking on water, he had me walking on water with a submarine over my head.. So when the Bible says something, believe it.