Trusting God Saves a Teen and His Dog During a Flash Flood

A teenager prays when he and his dog are swept down a flooding river.

By Akira Maruyama, 15, GA

Categories: Safety

I usually take my dogs on a walk through the woods behind my house, but on this one particular summer day, it was raining really hard; and although I did not know it, there was a flash flood alert. However, my dogs needed to go to the bathroom before I went to bed. So I took my Pug, Border Collie, and German Shepherd puppy out, planning to stay outside for only three minutes. Before I knew it, the German Shepherd had leaped into the river that is in the woods. Normally, the river isn't too strong or big, but that day, the river had swelled to about thirty feet wide with a very, very strong current. I waited for my German Shepherd to rise to the surface and swim ashore. Unfortunately, his collar was caught in a branch underwater, and his head did not come up for several seconds. Before I knew what I was doing, I jumped in the river, disentangled him, and drifted down the current. I thought I could swim to safety, but the river was too strong and had grown to be about twenty feet deep. So, I was swept down the river with my dog in my clutches, while both of us struggled for breath as the current dipped us underwater.

I calmed myself with my knowledge of God. I knew that He was looking over me, and I was drifting down river in God's arms. The Bible tells us, "For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11). Finally, after fifteen scary minutes of going downstream, I managed to grasp onto a tree and rest. My other dogs were following us on the other side of the river, so I told them to go to the house. I also thought that every creature of God is intelligent, and that God was in control of everything. Right after this, the tree we were hanging onto broke off and lodged in a narrow part of the river. This allowed me to get to shore. By this time, I had been gone for about forty minutes, and I needed to get home to tell my parents that I was all right. I went to the first house I saw and asked to call my parents. The people in the house offered me a towel and let us into the house, while my parents came to pick me up.

This experience made my belief in God solid because the instant I turned to God, I felt a sense of calm -- in both my dog and me. There had been an earlier time in my life that I had many unanswered questions that led me to not entirely believe in the existence of God. I didn't think I could rely on God to help me in real life problems, but instead, just studied God in Sunday school and left it there. I now know that God is real because He actually "works" -- and not just for people in the Bible. I also learned that God is constantly speaking and guiding people through His angel messages. We just have to turn to Him and listen. Through my newfound foundation of faith, I have grown to be a stronger person. When there is a need to be met, I feel confident relying on God and the truths I have learned.