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Legacy


I Jumped

By Karl Priest At Ease magazine June 1, 1986

I reported to a destroyer tender for temporary duty as a Christian less than a year old in the Lord. I had failed many times publicly to confess Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Aboard the tender seemed no place to be an example of Christ’s life-changing grace.

Since I was an extra person aboard ship, I often had nothing to do. To stay out of the way I read. It also was a means of avoiding trouble. A book I was reading was Christian oriented. Soon I was questioned about it.

I was not ashamed of the Gospel, but not having tested the waters it became necessary that I either jump in or deny my Savior. I jumped and was kidded by several men—even ridiculed by one. With the Lord’s help I kept my temper even though it was hot. I gave soft answers. As I did I could feel the power of God increasing.

A sailor approached me in private. He told me that long before he entered the Navy he had become a dedicated Christian. He was suffering temptation at the time he thought he could not resist. We had a deep and prayerful discussion, but he made no commitment to turn away from the wide path he was considering.

The last weekend I was on the ship I was given duty. Another fellow, one pay-grade lower but a regular crew member, was with me. He obviously was hostile and demanded that I swab an area.

Anger rose up within me, and I started to lash out at him; but the words that came out were chosen by the Spirit. I told him that because of what Jesus had done for me I gladly would swab the deck. I could not believe what I had said; the fellow was dumbfounded.

As I slid that swab around I felt indescribable joy. As water in a bucket which, if left unused becomes stagnant; but, if used, splashed out, and spread around, cleanses, the love of God flowed through me.

I departed from that ship the next day and never was to hear from any of the men left behind. My adventure on the tender had been comparable, in a sense, to that experienced by Philip—I had been sent to a desert, to a spiritually dry place. It is possible, however, that God’s purpose in sending me there may have been as much to help me as it was to help those whom I came in contact.

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Also see “Trust the Captain”.

LEGACY INDEX