Just over a week ago, Matthew Bryce decided to go surfing off the Scottish coast. Within a few hours the tide and wind had blown him thirteen miles out to sea. He watched the sun set, knowing he would not survive the night.

During the night he saw some distant ships and fishing boats and tried calling out to them and paddling his board towards them, to no avail.

Sunrise came and he was still alive but the morning turned to afternoon, then evening, and another sunset was looming. This time, he knew for sure it was over. “I was pretty certain I was going to die.”

Then, the sound of a helicopter overhead. He jumped off his board and waved it around to draw attention, but they flew past him. His last hope turned to despair…and then hope again, as the chopper banked and started flying towards him.

“But then they turned round and when I saw them turn it was indescribable,” he said. ”It was a combination of the worst and greatest moment of my life…it was surreal.”

“I can’t describe it at all. These guys were the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. I owe them my life.”

Watch the video below or a longer deeply moving interview here to feel the full emotional impact.

But do so while thinking about the parallels between this and your salvation. Ponder where you were drifting towards. Remember your hopelessness and despair. Recall the fear of death. Think about the sound of the Gospel hope and your attempts to get God’s attention. And, Oh, the moment when he turned towards you and came to rescue you. Was that not the most beautiful sight in the world? Kindle gratitude and worship as you re-trace his work of grace in your dying soul.

It was the worst of times. But it became the best of times.