Encourage Your Men on Father’s Day: A Great Illustration
This Father’s Day, encourage your men. Don’t beat them up. They already know where they are not making it. Here’s an inspirational story from The Man in the Mirror (Chapter 8) about the deep, deep love a father has for his son. Email it, share it in Sunday school, or tell it as a sermon illustration. You have my permission to use it any way you want…
The salmon nearly leaped onto their hooks! That was a far cry from the day before when the four anglers couldn’t even seem to catch an old boot.
Disappointed but not discouraged, they had climbed aboard their small seaplane and skimmed over the Alaskan mountains to a pristine, secluded bay where the fish were sure to bite.
They parked their aircraft and waded upstream, where the water teemed with ready-to-catch salmon. Later that afternoon, when they returned to their camp, they were surprised to find the seaplane high and dry. The tides fluctuated twenty-three feet in that particular bay, and the pontoons rested on a bed of gravel. Since they couldn’t fly out till morning, they settled in for the night and enjoyed some of their catch for dinner, then slept in the plane.
In the morning the seaplane was adrift, so they promptly cranked the engine and started to take off. Too late, they discovered one of the pontoons had been punctured and was filled with water. The extra weight threw the plane into a circular pattern. Within moments from liftoff the seaplane careened into the sea and capsized.
Dr. Phil Littleford determined that everyone was alive, including his twelve-year-old son, Mark. He suggested they pray, which the other two men quickly endorsed. No safety equipment could be found on board—no life vests, no flares, nothing. The plane gurgled and submerged into the blackness of the icy morning sea. Fortunately, they all had waders which they inflated. The frigid Alaskan water chilled their breath.
They all began to swim for shore, but the riptide countered every stroke. The two men alongside Phil and Mark were strong swimmers and they both made shore, one just catching the tip of land as the tides pulled them out toward sea.
Their two companions last saw Phil and Mark as a disappearing dot on the horizon, swept arm-in-arm out to sea.
The Coast Guard reported they probably lasted no more than an hour in the freezing waters – hypothermia would chill the body functions and they would go to sleep. Mark with a smaller body mass, would fall asleep first in his father’s arms. Phil could have made the shoreline, too, but that would have meant abandoning his son. Their bodies were never found.
What father wouldn’t be willing to die for his son? My question is different. If we are willing to go so far as to die for our children, why is it that we often don’t seem willing to live for them?
For the glory of Christ and no other reason,