Many years before…
In October 1942, the legendary Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was on a mission in a B-17 to deliver an important message to General Douglas MacArthur in New Guinea. But somewhere over the South Pacific the Flying Fortress became lost beyond the reach of radio. Fuel began to run dangerously low eventually forcing them to ditch the plane in the ocean. Stranded on the ocean for nearly a month, Captain Eddie and his crew fought the elements to survive.
They spent many sleepless nights recoiling as giant sharks rammed their raft, but of all their enemies at sea one proved most formidable: starvation. Eight days out, their rations were long gone or destroyed by the salt water. It would take a miracle to sustain them, and a miracle occurred.
Captain Rickenbacker’s own words record the moment…
One of our crew, Captain William Cherry, read from the Bible and then prayed, and then we sang a hymn. There was some talk, but it tapered off in the oppressive heat. With my hat pulled down over my eyes to keep out some of the glare, I dozed off. Then something landed on my head. I knew that it was a seagull. No one said a word, but peering out from under my hat brim without moving my head, I could see the expression on their faces. They were staring at that gull. The gull meant food if I could catch it.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Captain Eddie caught the gull. Its flesh was eaten. Its intestines were used for bait to catch fish. The survivors were sustained and their hopes renewed because a lone seagull.
Captain Rickenbacker never forgot
Every Friday evening at sunset until his death in 1973, you could find Captain Eddie Rickenbacker out on a pier on a lonely stretch of coast in eastern Florida with a bucket filled with shrimp. He fed the seagulls as an expression of thanks for the one who gave his life to save his.
Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
How much has God done for you? How many times has He proven faithful and showered your life with His blessings? Then give Him thanks! Tell about what He’s done and what He means to you. Do it at sunset, and at sunrise. Do it on a pier, and in your house. Wherever you go, maybe even when you see a seagull, be thankful to God!