My First Ever Witness to a Shark Attack

urlNot many people have witnessed a shark attack. Based on my experience yesterday, not many people will ever want to.

Martha and I are in South Florida visiting with Brad, Emily, Reagan, and Luke. Yesterday we spent the morning at the beach and the afternoon in the pool.

The Atlantic Ocean at Hutchinson Island is beautiful. It really does come close to being “Caribbean” water.

We had a wonderful time. Luke (almost 3) and I spent a long time in the waves. Later, Emily went out by herself. Not many yards away were three people enjoying the surf as well.

All of a sudden the three people started heading for the beach holding a man and yelling for something to stanch bleeding. We watched in horror as they helped the man to the shore holding his left hand above him. The hand was covered in blood and bleeding profusely.

No one knows exactly what happened. He didn’t see whatever did the damage, but the large length of the bite seems to confirm a shark attack. The great news: the man did not appear to have lost use of his hand or arm.

You can understand why we decided to spend more time at the pool.

Here are four things I learned.

First, these things are real. I was amazed at how cool the tourist from Vermont (and his wife) was. He handled the whole situation in amazing fashion. The EMTs also seemed to know exactly what to do. Shark attacks are really rare (only 72 world wide last year), but they are horrific when they occur.

Second, you need to know your surroundings. I listened as the locals talked about not surfing in cloudy water and swimming with bait fish. We had been in the water with a lot of bait.

We always need to be aware of our surroundings. Whether in a parking lot at night or in an ocean filled with sea creatures, we need to know what’s around us and make wise decisions.

Third, you have to overcome your fear. You can be aware of dangerous situations, but you can’t live in fear. If we don’t overcome our fear, we will never be able to do what we want to do (e.g., riding a bicycle).

Jesus talked often about fear. Our fear can keep us from God and hinder our service for Him. Fear can paralyze and destroy.

Here are some words to help you deal with your fear:

Life is uncertain and filled with it’s own difficulties, but we make life even more difficult when we are ruled by fear.

The fourth thing I remembered is that Jesus promised to never forsake or leave us. Whatever we face in life. we have a faithful God who will always be with us.

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